Black Jack

The Ballad of Jack Johnson

by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Shane W. Evans

A Neal Porter Book

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Born as Arthur John Johnson in the southern state of Texas, Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.
 
Published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this history-making bout (July 4, 1910). This is an extraordinary marriage of poetry, fabulous collage artwork, and a splendid achievement in its own right.

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Q&A with BLACK JACK author Charles R. Smith Jr.

In this short Q&A, the author of BLACK JACK: The Ballad of Jack Johnson talks about the inspiration and importance of writing this story for young readers.

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Praise for Black Jack

“The poetry is interspersed with quotes of the time, and illustrator Evans uses oil paint and ink to depict the somber, determined fighter, with collage elements of newspaper articles, maps, and crowds in the backgrounds to set the story firmly in time and place.” —Horn Book

“The elegant simplicity and rat-a-tat rhythms land some stunners . . .  enhanced by Evans’ lithe and swaggering artwork, which lends a tremendous visual charisma, grace, and grandeur.” —Starred, Booklist

“Through poetry, quotations and some prose, the life of one of boxing’s most important stars is celebrated, from his youth as the victim of bullies to the 1908 championship bout against a white fighter that made him a legend.” —Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Shane W. Evans

CHARLES SMITH JR. is a celebrated author, poet, and photographer. He has created more than twenty books, including Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali, a 2008 Corretta Scott King Honor Book and a 2008 Norman Sugarman Best Biography Honor Book and Chameleon, his first novel for young adults. He currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York with his wife Gillian and three kids, Sabine, Adrian and Sebastian.

SHANE EVANS has illustrated numerous books for children, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner Shanna's Ballerina Show. He attributes much of his influence to his travels to Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and much of the United States. He is a firm believer in education and creative development for all people.

Charles R. Smith Jr.
Shane W. Evans

Shane W. Evans

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Available Formats and Book Details

Black Jack
The Ballad of Jack Johnson
by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Award

IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, CPL: Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

Hardcover

Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
A Neal Porter Book
June 2010
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781596434738
ISBN10: 1596434732
Picture Book Nonfiction
8 1/2 x 11 inches, 40 pages, Full-color illustrations throughout
Age Range: 2 to 6
Grade Range: p to 1 Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


AR Quiz Number: 135330
AR Book Level: 5.3
AR Points: 0.5

$16.99
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From The Publisher

Roaring Brook Press

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