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Elizabeth's Song

Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
Published by Beyond Words
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Historical-fiction based on the young life of Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten, the noted African American folksinger, who wrote the famous song "Freight Train" when she was just eleven years old.

Elizabeth's Song is the true-life story of Elizabeth (Libba) Cotten, the noted African American folksinger, guitarist, and songwriter. Against all odds, young Elizabeth teaches herself to play guitar left-handed on a borrowed instrument. Eventually, she earns enough money to buy a guitar of her very own, and is then inspired to write her first song--the folk classic "Freight Train," written when she was eleven years old. Elizabeth's unique style of playing guitar (upside down and backwards), from which the term "cotten picking" is derived, has influenced countless other artists. Elizabeth's story is one that will inspire people of all ages.

About The Author

Photograph courtesy of author

Michael Wenberg is a, award-winning author of numerous children and adult books, including Seattle Blues, StringZ, and Elizabeth's Song—his first children's book. A graduate of Gonzaga University, Mike lives with his wife and dog Gracie, in the small seaside village of Kingston on Washington state's Puget Sound.

About The Illustrator

Cornelius Van Wright is an award--winning illustrator. He and his wife, Ying--Hwa Hu, illustrate and write children's books and publications, and they have created Pencil Moon Studio to share their artwork and vision. Their work has been exhibited at the Bologna Book Fair and the Society of Illustrators' "The Original Art" show, and appeared on Reading Rainbow and Storytime. They are always looking for new ways to bring stories and adventure to life for kids through the magic of pictures. Cornelius lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

Product Details

Raves and Reviews

"An inspiring true story." 

– Pete Seeger, American folk musician and social activist

"What a wonderful way to bring Elizabeth's legacy to new generations to come."

– Bonnie Raitt, American blues musician and activist

" A lovely story."

– Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk, rock, and country musician

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images