Campbell, Isaiah The Troubles of Johnny Cannon, 296 p. Language: PG (4 swears, o ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (fights and danger without being bloody).
Johnny Cannon is not particularly smart, but he works really hard to keep it together. His mother died a long time ago and his brother is leaving on a secret mission for the military. His Dad seems to be involved in some shady business involving secret radio transmissions. Johnny has been banned from the white baseball team in his small Alabama town, so he tries to join with the blacks, who really don’t want to have anything to do with him either (not surprising for the 1960’s). And he is bullied by the son of the local bank president. Johnny’s adventures will take him to Cuba, after the Bay of Pigs disaster, but will he make it back to Alabama?
Johnny’s story s a little hard to explain in a short summary. While the action involves the Bay of Pigs invasion, which is of little interest to most US students, Johnny himself is still a character worth knowing. It is a good glimpse at life in another time for kids who only know smart phones. It would also be a good option on a reading list for a modern history high school class.
MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher