The famous poet Countee Cullen gives Simon Brocade his nickname: Shaky Bones. As Shaky explains it, when the music starts, he just can't be still! Music and creativity seem to ooze from everyone in Shaky's neighborhood during the Harlem Renaissance— including from Shaky. He wants to be famous as a poet. A young poet's competition teaches Shaky that being known as a good person might just be better than being known as a talent. Shaky guides readers through the Harlem of his day, introduces us to prominent writers and musicians of the era, and brings us the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance.