Lowdown on Denim, The Share this with a friend

by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
illustrated by Clayton Hanmer

Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Red Maple Award nomination

In The Lowdown on Denim, narrators JD and Shred take readers on a trip through the history of jeans, demonstrating that, whatever their style, jeans have always driven and reflected popular culture. They use their interest in denim to escort readers from wartime to the rodeo circuit and from environmental concerns to the rock and roll stage.

When blue jeans were invented in the 1870s, they were utilitarian — baggy, only a single pocket and held up with suspenders.

In the 1960s, they were bell-bottomed and embroidered, symbolizing the rebellion of the Woodstock era. Punks in the ’70s held them together with safety pins, while ’80s metal bands wore theirs acid-washed. Then the low-riding style worn by prisoners inspired ’90s hip-hop fashion. Today, denim can be as personalized as an iPod playlist.

With humorous comic-style illustrations throughout, this fun, fascinating social history will make readers think each time they pull on their jeans.


“... will be a surefire hit for libraries looking to add attention-grabbing nonfiction to their collections.”
—School Library Journal, 02/12

“… an intriguing insight …”
—booklistonline.com, 12/08/11

“This cleverly designed book engages the tween to adult market with fun facts, catchy titles, witty responses and action-packed comic strips ...”
—Resource Links, 12/11

“... a thorough, well researched, chronological history of denim jeans.”
—CM Reviews, 01/12

“... a detailed, readable, engaging commodity history. It will draw in pre-teen and early teen readers, and could serve as a great launching point for a variety of classroom discussions and projects.”
—The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 04/12

“… the author uses jeans as the focus for a historical journey that tells the story of denim over the years since it was first made in the 1860s. It is quite the amazing trek …”
—Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 08/13/12