Laban Carrick Hill

DJ Kool Herc

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2014 Coretta Scott King/​John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Illustrator Theodore Taylor III)
2014 CBC/​NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Reading List
2014 IRA Notable Books for a Global Society List
2014 ALA Notable Children's Books
2014 Capitol Choices Notable Books
2014 Booklist Notable Books

"Completely awesome"--Time

"Hill tells the story of the birth of hip-hop with his own catchy rhythm, and Taylor’s illustrations bring out the enthusiasm and sense of community at the heart of this trend-setting sound."--New York Times Book Review

"Here’s a twofer: an expert biography of a hip hop and rap pioneer, and a not-to-be-missed picture-book debut by Taylor."--Publishers Weekly

Junior Library Guild Selection

Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, a hot, young new artist, this new picture book by Laban Carrick Hill tells the story of the Godfather of Hip Hop. When DJ Kool Herc spun records for his sister's sweet sixteen birthday in the South Bronx in the 1970s, he didn't know that he would invent rap and hip hop. But that's what he did. This is the amazing story of how a kid scratched and rapped his way into starting an entire new music.

Selected Works

1. Nonfiction
"Completely awesome"--Time "Hill tells the story of the birth of hip-hop with his own catchy rhythm, and Taylor’s illustrations bring out the enthusiasm and sense of community at the heart of this trend-setting sound."--New York Times Book Review
"Phenomenal."–Howard Zinn "Excellent."–New York Times Book Review
Harlem Stomp! is a wonderous new book: it celebrates a time, a place, an energy, and a people who refused to be held back and so they created a culture the entire world is still reeling from.”
--George C. Wolfe, writer, director, and producer of the Public Theater, NYC
3. Poetry
A picturebook poem describing the life of the slave potter Dave. Illustrated by Bryan Collier.
“Contemporary Poetry of New England offers a vivid portrait of a region, its colors and smells, its physical and emotional textures, and the people…. It presents a range of poets, few of whom would call themselves a “region poet,” although each has taken to heart in a private way Frost’s haunting dictum: ‘Locality gives art.’”
--from the Introduction
2. Fiction
A seventeen-year-old is plucked out of the Grande Armee to sit in place of Napoleon for a portrait of the Emperor by the artist David.
"I felt like a kid reading every word on the page! I liked the strains of "magic realism" coming through in Frida's house! Children will relate to this very much! The story is charming and reads like a thriller." –Margarita Aguilar, Assisant Curator, El Museo del Barrio
4. Middle Grade Series
These kids love extreme sports--snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, wake boarding--and are ready to fight when the right to do their sport is threatened.