The Blues: Music of Survival
Four men were walking across a field. They were carrying a body wrapped up in white cloth. Their strong, black hands and arms supported the body as they walked on. Other men, women, and children walked behind. And the tall green trees listened. They listened to the cries of... Read more
Drifting Cowboy: Hank Williams
Hank would never make it to the concert. There were too many problems. It was icy cold outside. He sat under a cover in the back of his light blue Cadillac car. He was heading to the city of Canton, Ohio, to give a big concert on New Year’s... Read more
Awarding Excellence: The Pulitzer Prize
ReadOasis Step 3 The Color Purple is a book about a black woman named Celie. The story tells of her life and struggles, as she grew up in the Southern United States during the 1930s. The book was written by Alice Walker. And the movie version was directed by... Read more
Diego Velázquez, Painter of Painters
By David Bello ReadOasis Step 2 Diego Velázquez (June 6, 1599 – to August 6, 1660) is one of the greatest painters of all time. With great skill he mixed color, light, space, and the rhythm of lines. He created scenes of historical and cultural significance. And he painted... Read more
The Motown Sound (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 You don't know soul music if you don't know the Motown sound. Motown is a record company from Detroit Michigan. And one of the greatest Motown artists of all time is Stevie Wonder. Wonder has sold over 100,000,000 records and won 25 Grammy Awards. But he... Read more
JK Rowling and Harry Potter (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 After finishing university in 1983, JK Rowling was living in London. She worked for the human rights group Amnesty International. But in 1990, she decided to move to Manchester. After spending a weekend looking for an apartment, she took the train back to London. It was... Read more
Two Great Painters
ReadOasis Step 2 Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso, 1874 There once was a painter named Zeuxis. He could paint life-like pictures. People often mistook his pictures for the real things which they represented. At one time he painted the picture of some fruit. It seemed so real... Read more
Genius for Melody
ReadOasis Step 4 (Part 1) On June 2, 2010, President Barack Obama stood on a small stage in the White House. In the audience sat a mix of elite leaders and famous musicians. The President was about to give America’s highest award for popular music to Paul McCartney of the... Read more
Winter Time
Winter Time By Robert Louis Stevenson ReadOasis Step 5 Berit Watki Winter in Merstham (Creative Commons) Late lies the wintry sun a-bed, A frosty, fiery sleepy-head; Blinks but an hour or two; and then, A blood-red orange, sets again. Before the stars have left the skies, At morning in... Read more
Escape at Bedtime
By Robert Louis Stevenson ReadOasis Step 3 Photo by NASA   The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out Through the blinds and the windows and bars; And high overhead and all moving about, There were thousands of millions of stars. There ne’er were such thousands of leaves... Read more
The Motown Sound (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 The Motown Museum (Wikipedia) Soul music combines rhythm and blues and gospel. Like the blues, soul arose out of the black experience in America, and soul musicians took these styles out of the black church and into the world and the streets. They confidently and proudly... Read more
On the Road Again (Step 1)
ReadOasis Step 1 Little Willie was born into hard times. On October 29, 1929, the American economy went bad. It was called Black Tuesday. Many people lost all their money. By Willie’s day of birth in 1933, around 25% of Americans had lost their jobs. People were hopeless, poor,... Read more
Knocking on Heaven’s Door
ReadOasis Step 2 He came out of nowhere. In 1961, he just appeared in New York City, wanting to do music. And in one short year, he held a record contract in his hand. By the middle of the 1960s, he had reached the top of the pop music... Read more
The Old Man and the Sea
ReadOasis Step 2 An old man was fishing alone in a small boat. He was off the coast of Cuba near the town of Cabanas. He hooked a marlin, a great fish with a long, sharp spear for a nose. The powerful fish pulled the small boat out to... Read more
If by Rudyard Kipling
In 1907, Rudyard Kipling received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the first English-language writer to receive the prize. Kipling was a innovator in the art of short stories. His children’s books, like Jungle Book, are classics of children's literature. Kipling also wrote poetry. One of his famous poems... Read more
Picasso and the Beatles
ReadOasis Step 4 The Spanish painter Picasso demonstrated remarkable artistic aptitude at a very young age. According to his mother, his first words were "piz, piz." "Piz" is short for "lápiz," which means "pencil" in Spanish. Picasso's father was an art professor who raised his son in a world... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He casually looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! In a rush, he hurries to the kitchen. He opens the... Read more
A Sentimental Imagination
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens (1786-1851) Most people know Charles Dickens for his famous ghost story: A Christmas Carol. But many people don’t realize that Dickens was the most notable English author of the... Read more
Paul Desmond and Take Five
ReadOasis Step 3 By Maria Sonora “I would also like to thank my father, who discouraged me from playing the violin.” These are the words of Paul Desmond. He is one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast cool jazz scene. Surely, he liked... Read more
BTS Like the Beatles
ReadOasis Step 3 Photo by Korea.net (Creative Commons) It was the first stadium concert ever. When the Beatles made their entrance, the crowd exploded with noise. Smiling and laughing, the band ran to the stage in the middle of a baseball diamond. The crowd of 56,000 screamed, yelled, and... Read more