Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson

Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson


Written by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Illustrated by Shane W. Evans


Roaring Book Press, 2010, 40 pp., $16.99

ISBN: 9781596484738        (ages: 8-10)

Rating: R             Genre: Biography



Black Jack the Ballad of Jack Johnson is about the first African American heavyweight champion.  By using a rhyming rhythm and Jack Johnson’s everyday language, Smith tells a story that is sure to entertain elementary-age children.  The reader is able to catch a glimpse of Jack Johnson’s dreams and his journey to the championship.  Some may think the book condones fighting and may be wary of using it in the classroom.  The illustrations are a bit busy on a few of the pages but go along with the text well.  This story will help children realize the importance of following their dreams. giving children a foundation to use their imagination.  (Trade Book)


Reviewer:           Kerie Blevins

                          Pre-Service Teacher

                          Early Childhood Education



Suggested Themes: Biography