Hosea Plays On
Hosea Plays On

Hosea Plays On

Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Physical book
3 - 9
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Jan 7, 2020
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of Hosea Plays On

Community takes center stage in this performance by Blasi and Evans that touches hearts and inspires good.

Based on the true story of Hosea Missouri Taylor Jr., Hosea Plays On follows Hosea through a seemingly simple day: he leaves his house, greets a neighbor kid, takes the bus to the public market, and plays his saxophone outside his favorite coffee shop, wowing a crowd of onlookers who plop some tips in his velvet-lined case. But as the day and story ends, Hosea’s deeper contribution to the community emerges unexpectedly in a poignant act of kindness and generosity as he uses his earnings to gift a trumpet to the neighbor kid he first greeted, a selflessness readers realize he has actually repeated multiple times with other aspiring musicians. The skillful development of the storyline—complete with the suspense created by Hosea’s thought that “Maybe—just maybe—he would earn enough today” and culminating in a moment of epiphany and delight for the reader—stirs emotions and sparks inspiration. Rich descriptive phrases (“Hosea clomped down the steps and shuffled through brittle, dancing leaves.”) are hallmarks of the story and make for a beautiful reading experience. The illustrations, awash with vibrant colors and beautifully executed in a style distinctive to Evans, are playful and show that Evans remembers (as is forgotten too often in books based on true stories) that exact realism in illustrations can be overrated when presented with the opportunity to inspire and entertain.

What Kind of Book is Hosea Plays On


community helperscommunitymusichard workfinancial difficultymusical instrumentsperforming artsvalues and virtuessocial themeskindnessNew Yorkmusiciansantiracisminclusivity


Race, Ethnicities, & Nationalities

Where Does Hosea Plays On Stand Out

  • Heartstrings

    The “Heartstrings” badge is awarded to books that provoke an exceptionally tender emotional response.

  • Thoughtful Citizen

    The “Thoughtful Citizen” badge is awarded to recognize exceptional books that promote exemplary citizenship.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • *Hosea Plays On* is based on the true story of Hosea Missouri Taylor Jr. The final page of the book includes a more detailed history of Hosea and what he meant to his community. Can you think of someone in your community that behaves selflessly and helps others? How could you thank them for their efforts? How could you be a positive influence on others yourself?
  • Hosea worked hard and saved money until he had enough to complete his purchase. Was the wait worth it to Hosea? How can you set up a system to save money?
  • Hosea shares his talent for music with those around him. What talents do you have? How can you share them?


Book Lists That Include Hosea Plays On

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Kathleen M. Blasi Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Kathleen M. Blasi know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Shane W. Evans Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Shane W. Evans know that you want to hear from them about their book.

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Book Details

Publication Date
January 7, 2020
Sterling Childrens Books
Page Count
Words Per Page
Reading Age
3 - 9 years
Est. Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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Core Score - 70%

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Depth Score - 37%

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