Nina A Story of Nina Simone

nina a story of nina simone

This illuminating and defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the story of little Eunice who grew up to become the acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother's preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina's voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.---from the publisher

56 pages 978-1524737283 Ages 4-8

Keywords: biography, singer, music, African American and Black stories, girls and women, performing arts, social activist, civil rights, racial inequality, diversity, diverse books, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, Social Studies Curriculum


Eunice Kathleen Waymon was born in a small town in North Caroline in 1933. At the age of 3 she went to play the piano at the church services where her mother was a minister. At the age of 3..... she was a child prodigy. Eunice took piano lessons - she said Bach made her love music the way he started out quietly and then roared to the sound of thunder. She went to Juilliard but was rejected by the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia- they later changed their minds when they gave her an honorary degree about a year before she passed away.

This is how Nina Simone - yes, that Nina Simone- started her journey into her powerful career that eventually exploded into protest expressing the anger over the racism and prejudice that challenged and held down her people. She had seen it in her own life and she used her powerful voice to awaken the world and support the civil rights movement.

A vividly powerful and personal biography of a woman whose name inspires strength and resilience and an indomitable spirit.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

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