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John Henry by Julius Lester

John Henry (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Julius Lester, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)

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6836613,982 (4.17)4
Title:John Henry
Authors:Julius Lester
Other authors:Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
Info:Dial (1994), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 40 pages
Collections:Folklore, Your library
Tags:African Americans, folktales, perseverance, living life to the fullest

Work details

John Henry (Picture Puffins) by Julius Lester (1994)



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» See also 4 mentions

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Rumored to be stronger than ten men and faster than a drill that cuts through a mountain, making way for a railroad, John Henry pits his super human strength against a drill to discern which is faster.

A folk tale to be appreciated, the images are crisp and lovely.
  Whisper1 | Sep 19, 2015 |
Although this version of the John Henry legend is a little bit different than some I’ve read, I enjoyed the book. For starters, the illustrations are wonderfully done in watercolor and bring the story to life. The story itself is fun and would appeal to little boys everywhere. When you hear about a man that is, “stronger than ten men, and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill,” the image is unforgettable. I also loved the way Julius Lester makes us feel like we’re hearing the story from someone we know, since his “great-granddaddy’s brother’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s uncle’s aunt” witnessed one of the events! ( )
  flackm | Jul 14, 2015 |
Unstoppable from birth, John Henry is pitted against a machine in a competition of strength.
  troberts719 | Jul 4, 2015 |
John Henry is a folk tale about a man larger and stronger than life. His strength is known far and wide and so is he. The legend tells that he died by successfully cutting through a mountain faster than a steam drill machine. Interesting folklore for children. ( )
  dorthys | Mar 15, 2015 |
I loved the illustrations by Pinkney in this book. I have seen his work before and, once again, in this book it just works. I loved the traditional folk tale of John Henry. This would be very good for the classroom and for teaching students.
  barbarashuler | Mar 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julius Lesterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pinkney, Jerrymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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In memory of my father, James H., my John Henry. – J.P.
First words
This tale attempts to be faithful to the indomitable human spirit John Henry embodies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140566228, Paperback)

John Henry is stronger than ten men, and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill. Julius Lester's folksy retelling of a popular African-American folk ballad has warmth, tall tale humor, and boundless energy. Jerry Pinkney illustrates the story with "rich colors borrowed from the rocks and the earth, so beautiful that they summon their own share of smiles and tears" (Booklist).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:51 -0400)

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Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.

(summary from another edition)

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