Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Finished Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia. I received a copy for review. 

Clayton Byrd loves a lot of things but his two favorites are his grandfather (Cool Papa) and the blues. He plays the blues harp (harmonica) and yearns for the day he’s good enough for a solo. When his grandpa dies, though, his mom forbids him from playing again. Losing Cool Papa is awful enough; he can’t lose the blues, too! So he decides he’ll steal the blues harp back and go on the road with The Bluesmen. 

I really liked this book and its exploration of grief. It’s not a sad book, per se, but it shows the little-discussed side effects (anger, sudden exhaustion). 

I also appreciate the way we see Clayton’s mom. She’s doing mean things but she has her reasons. It’s not something Clayton necessarily gets but careful readers will. 

This is a novel that will steal your heart. Recommended. 


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