When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop (Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent)

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades K - 3Grades 4 - 8W4.21085

A John Steptoe New Talent Award Winner

Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc.

On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks―the musical interludes between verses―longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published on August 27, 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN-10: 1596435402
ISBN-13: 9781596435407
1 Book Review
  • super10
    super10over 5 years55 stars
    I really liked the say that the author told the story. He didn't tell you how Hip-Hop was born, he showed you. In Kingston, Jamaica, there was a boy named Clive. He loved to listen to music, because it made his feet hop, and hop over again. One day he moved to Bronx. There, when he played sports, people would call him Hercules. He shortened Hercules to Herc, and added Kool, in the front. Then his nickname was Kool Herc. Then, when he became a DJ, people loved it. I loved this book so much, I wanted to jump up and down and start dancing. This was truly a awesome, and amazing book.