Ain't nothing but a man: my quest to find the real John Henry

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National Geographic,
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Who was the real John Henry? The story of this legendary African-American figure has come down to us in so many songs, stories, and plays, that the facts are often lost. Historian Scott Nelson brings John Henry alive for young readers in his personal quest for the true story of the man behind the myth. Nelson presents the famous folk song as a mystery to be unraveled, identifying the embedded clues within the lyrics, which he examines to uncover many surprising truths. He investigates the legend and reveals the real John Henry in this beautifully illustrated book. Nelson’s narrative is multilayered, interweaving the story of the building of the railroads, the period of Reconstruction, folk tales, American mythology, and an exploration of the tradition of work songs and their evolution into blues and rock and roll. This is also the story of the author’s search for the flesh-and-blood man who became an American folk hero; Nelson gives a first-person account of how the historian works, showing history as a process of discovery. Readers rediscover an African-American folk hero. We meet John Henry, the man who worked for the railroad, driving steel spikes. When the railroad threatens to replace workers with a steam-powered hammer, John Henry bets that he can drive the beams into the ground faster than the machine. He wins the contest, but dies in the effort. Nelson’s vibrant text, combined with archival images, brings a new perspective and focus to the life and times of this American legend.
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Level 6.6, 2 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 055e2041-201f-3cee-1d1e-47409a3ac13c
Grouping Title ain t nothing but a man my quest to find the real john henry
Grouping Author nelson scott reynolds
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-03 04:49:02AM
Last Indexed 2019-05-19 04:52:45AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level MG
accelerated_reader_point_value 2
accelerated_reader_reading_level 6.6
auth_author2 Aronson, Marc.
author Nelson, Scott Reynolds.
author2-role Aronson, Marc.
author_display Nelson, Scott Reynolds
available_at_arlington Central, Westover
collection_arlington Kids Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Central Kids Nonfiction, Westover Kids Nonfiction
display_description Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson recounts how he came to discover the real John Henry, an African-American railroad worker who became a legend in the famous song.
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id 055e2041-201f-3cee-1d1e-47409a3ac13c
isbn 142630000, 9781426300004, 9781426300011
item_details ils:.b13023020|.i1342564x|Westover Kids Nonfiction|J 973.0496 NELSO|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Aug 24, 2018|wjn||, ils:.b13023020|.i13425675|Central Kids Nonfiction|J 973.0496 NELSO|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Jul 10, 2017|cjn||
itype_arlington Hardback
last_indexed 2019-05-19T08:52:45.216Z
lexile_score 1030
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington J 973.0496 NELSO
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central, Westover
primary_isbn 9781426300011
publishDate 2008
record_details ils:.b13023020|Book|Books||English|National Geographic,|[2008]|64 pages : color ; 29 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b13023020 .i1342564x On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 9999
ils:.b13023020 .i13425675 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 9999
subject_facet Southern States -- Description and travel
title_display Ain't nothing but a man : my quest to find the real John Henry
title_full Ain't nothing but a man : my quest to find the real John Henry / Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson
title_short Ain't nothing but a man :
title_sub my quest to find the real John Henry