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I loved Jazz Owls. I am a middle school librarian and look for texts to share about how it feels to be in different places/times/situations. Jazz Owls really does that. Margarita Engle masterfully weaves together a cast of fictional characters of the time to give those of us today an idea of what it was like to live in LA during World War II when feeling alive and ready to serve the United States was experienced so differently by Mexican American men and women and teens, navy recruits, newspaper reporters and the musicians pumping the music throughout the USO dance halls. This books is rich in time period vocabulary that young readers can decode from the context or research from other sources mentioned at the end of the book. This book will significantly add to my historical fiction collection. I so appreciate that it's written.
This book is written like a poem and the dancing was described with flash words giving it the jump jive and wail feel. The work is historic-fiction and gives a good sense of the time and the sacrifice of immigrants (Americans!!!!) and the injustice that they face even when they give their lives for their country. I learned about the USO and the jazz owls-the girls who had to dance to pick up the spirits of the men going to war. I loved the style it was written in and the rich details. It's a wonderful book.