February 16, 2016
Fab Four Friends: The Boys who Became the Beatles by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Fab Four Friends:
The Boys who Became the Beatles
by Susanna Reich
illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt
John Lennon lived with his aunt and uncle but when his band, the Quarrymen, practiced, that met at his mother’s apartment. Aunt Mimi knew he loved to play the guitar but worried he wouldn’t be able to make a living with it.
Paul McCartney grew up in a musical home and music definitely helped fill the void when his mother died. Paul and John practiced their guitars at Paul’s house, writing songs and scribbling down the words.
George Harrison’s family didn’t have a lot of money or enough to eat but they had plenty of laughter. His Dad wanted him to be an electrician but George loved rock-n-roll. He used his wages as a delivery boy to buy records and worked out the chords for the songs. He taught the chords to John and Paul.
When their band, they had changed the name to the Beatles, got a gig in Germany, they learned to whip up a crowd. All they needed now was a drummer which they found in sharp dressing, steady drumming Ringo Starr.
This can’t have been the easiest book to write — having to merge the stories of four musicians into one — but Reich handles it well, detailing their lives pre-Beatles as well as how the band became The Beatles of legend. Gustavson’s oil paintings bring the story to life, capturing each man and helping bring him into focus for the readers.
What I think this book does best is show the work and commitment that went into becoming a band of legend. This wasn’t a ho-hum we don’t have anything else to do project. It didn’t happen over night. It is something the boys made happen in spite of the odds and working to make the changes necessary to go from good to great.
Share this book with the young music lovers in your life but be ready to pick up a copy for an older Beatles fan as well!