There's never been anyone like music legend Johnny Cash. His deep voice is instantly recognizable, and his heartfelt songs resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. Read more...
There's never been anyone like music legend Johnny Cash. His deep voice is instantly recognizable, and his heartfelt songs resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. G. Neri captures Johnny's story in beautiful free verse, portraying an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent who grew up in extreme poverty, faced incredible challenges, and ultimately found his calling by always being true to the gift of his voice. A. G. Ford's luscious paintings of the dramatic southern landscape of Johnny Cash's childhood illuminate this portrait of a legend, taking us from his humble beginnings to his enormous success on the world stage.
- ISBN-13: 9780763662455
- ISBN-10: 0763662453
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: September 2014
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
- Dimensions: 12.1 x 10.7 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.45 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-14
- Reviewer: Staff
The boy who became Johnny Cash was born so impoverished that his first name was just two initials, J. R., “that stood for/ nothing.” But, in fact, Johnny Cash had two extraordinary possessions: a voice “as smooth and deep/ as the Mississippi itself” and a gift for writing songs that had a hypnotic, plainspoken intensity. In free-verse poetry and images that recall the emotional directness of WPA murals and photography, Neri (Ghetto Cowboy) and Ford (Under the Same Sun) follow Cash from the grinding poverty and tragedy of his early years to the invention of his signature “boom-chicka-boom sound” and his breakthrough hit, “I Walk the Line.” The images consistently strike a haunting chord—especially a twilight scene on a country road in which Johnny hears his first song on the car radio (“John couldn’t believe/ that was his voice/ going out over/ the airwaves”). Readers will best appreciate this biography after hearing some of Cash’s music—and they won’t want to stop after hearing his story. Ages 9–12. Author’s agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)