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John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth

Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon’s life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock’n’roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles.

Partridge sheds light on the years after the Beatles, with Yoko Ono, as he struggled to make sense of his own artistic life—one that had turned from youthful angst to suffocating fame in almost a split second.

Partridge chronicles the emotional highs and paralyzing lows Lennon transformed into brilliant, evocative songs. With striking black-and white photographs spanning his entire life, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth is the unforgettable story of one of rock’s biggest legends.

Viking Books for Young Readers 2005


Booklist, October, 2005 

 "John Lennon's Aunt Mimi disapproved of his guitar hobby because "you could never make a living at it." Such anecdotes surface with delightful regularity in Partridge's biography of the influential mid-twentieth-century musician. As in This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (2003), her mission is to uncover the person behind the image."

Publishers Weekly, September, 2005 

 "Partridge presents a captivating portrait of a legendary musician… The book's 140-plus photos effectively augment the narrative and help Partridge deliver what John craved: the truth."

Kirkus Reviews, September, 2005 

 "Partridge does a masterful job of placing Lennon's music in the context of his times-the influences of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, as well as the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and Watergate... Given the massive amount written about the Beatles, separating the man from the myth is a huge challenge, superbly accomplished here, with great attention to documentation."

The Horn Book Magazine, Sept/Oct. 2005 "P

 "Partridge takes on another complex, self-centered, prolific musical genius. John Lennon's life is almost melodramatic in its amalgamation of intractably defiant acts, creative angst, wild success, wealth, sex, drugs, and, finally, violent death... The book design is luxurious; thoughtfully chosen, well-placed black-and-white photographs on nearly every page project a visual commentary that adds substantively to an accessible text."

School Library Journal, September, 2005

 "Partridge cuts through the mythology and misinformation surrounding the life of the legendary singer/songwriter and goes a long way toward revealing the complexities of his personality...With an abundance of gorgeous black-and-white photos, some of them full-page or even spreads, this handsome book will be eagerly received by both Beatles fans, who are legion, and their elders, who will enjoy reliving the glory days of the Fab Four and exploring the inner workings of a creative talent."



Michael L. Printz 2006 Honor Book

ALA Best Books for Young Adults

School Library Journal Best Books

Booklist Editor’s Choice

Horn Book Fanfare BCCB Blue Ribbon

Kirkus Best Books