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John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack…

John Henry: An American Legend

by Ezra Jack Keats

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This book is about the legend of John Henry. How he was born with a hammer in his hand and how hard he worked. It tells of how his team was always in the lead, and when their jobs were at stake because of the new machine, John Henry puts his last bits of energy into working on and making a tunnel before the machine does.
This book would classify as a legend since there are elements of magic involved as well as a lot of hard work.
I would read this book to 3rd grade and older since the content of him dying at the end may be hard for younger students.
  Michaiah.Annear | Mar 17, 2017 |
Age Appropriateness (Primary, Intermediate, Middle School): Intermediate and Middle School
Review/Critique: "John Henry" is a book about a strong African American boy who leaves his family to work on building railroad tracks. John is described as the boy who was born with a hammer in his hand. The legend is that Henry is so strong and powerful, he beat a steam drill. I think this book fits the genre of legend because it was passed down orally, the author of this book is described at the storyteller. The story is also accurate, minority groups did primarily participate in the labor surrounding the Industrial Revolution.
Comments on Use: This book highlights the African American perspective during the Industrial Revolution and focuses on the importance of the hard labor that built our nation. I would read this to older children so I could explain the history behind the legend. ( )
  khadijab | Feb 15, 2017 |
My favorite childhood story and award-winning Ezra Jack Keats? This is literary heaven. Keats brings a fresh look onto a classic with stunning illustrations bringing John Henry's entire life to life right before our eyes. Usually I'd steer clear of books where a main character dies, but the way Keats wrote this made the book's purpose so much more than that. It became less about his life ending and more about living a life full of purpose. "If you listen to the locomotives roaring through the tunnels and across the land, you'll hear them singing-singing of that great steel-driving man-John Henry." ( )
  eshiel3 | Oct 23, 2016 |
A telling of the John Henry tale. Once again we follow his obsession with hammers as it leads him to the city and finally to a railroad tunnel where he wins a race against a machine and dies.

Ages: 5-8
Source: Tacoma Public Library
  teapotic | Jun 9, 2016 |
This is the folktale about John Henry, who was stronger than a steam engine. He dug his way through the mountain with his hammer and did so faster than the machine. It teaches not to give up and be strong throughout the toughest of tasks. ( )
  ghimbert | Apr 27, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394890523, Paperback)

Illus. in full color. The Caldecott Medalist's powerful classic is now reissued in a handsome paperback edition, as well as a library edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

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Describes the life of the legendary steel-driving man who was born and who died with a hammer in his hand.

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