Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Williams-Garcia
In this novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia, aspiring bluesman Clayton Byrd loses his beloved grandfather and must figure out what to do with all his anger and sadness—as he finally learns to play a blues song all his own.
A powerful and heartfelt middle grade novel about loss, family, and love, from beloved Newbery Honor author and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia.
Clayton Byrd feels most alive when he’s playing the blues on his “blues harp,” or harmonica, with his grandfather Cool Papa Byrd and the Bluesmen. But then the unthinkable happens: Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother gives away all his instruments and forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.
Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his blues harp, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the underground journey, Clayton learns about himself, his family, and what it takes to play the blues.