[Violin and Shovels: The WPA Art Projects, a New Deal for America's Hungry Artists of the 1930's is a] first-rate piece of reporting on the outlet the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided for writers, musicians, actors, directors, and artists of the Depression period. The text is dotted with vivid thumbnail sketches of famous figures from the art/theatre/music world (e.g., Nikolai Sokoloff, Henry Alsberg, Hallie Flanagan, Jackson Pollock, Olive Stanton) and with brief accounts of fascinating incidents from this little-known phase of our artistic history. Written in the same flowing style and with the same accuracy that characterizes Meltzer's histories, this is the only indepth treatment of the subject available for [a young adult] audience. The fact that Meltzer worked in the New York WPA project and relates his personal experiences is an added bonus. (pp. 61-2)
Elizabeth McCorkle, in her review of "Violins & Shovels: The WPA Arts Projects, a New Deal for America's Hungry Artists of the 1930's," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the December, 1976 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1976), Vol. 23, No. 4, December, 1976, pp. 61-2.