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Clayton Byrd adores his grandfather, loves the jazz Cool Papa plays with the other bluesmen in the park; Clayton wants to be musician, too. But when Cool Papa Byrd dies suddenly, Clayton is overcome with grief. His mother who has never resolved her own childhood remains at arm’s length though his father attempts to reach the boy. Clayton tries to join the park bluesmen but instead finds a different kind of music with a gang of street kids in the New York subway. Likeable characters populate this fast-paced novel.

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