Today's book is inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen and will be released August 25th to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his "Born to Run" LP. Born to Run is the third album by Bruce Springsteen. It was released on August 25, 1975 through Columbia Records.
Born to Run
The Story of Johnny 99
Authored by Wendy Parnell and illustrated by Matt Hall
Unwrapping some illustrations...
About the book...
This book teaches a very important life lesson. Johnny 99 comes roaring home one night after street racing once again, waking up his slumbering parents with the loud roar and rumbling beat of his motor. Being very concerned and unhappy regarding this repeated bad behaviour his dad gives his son a very stern warning about his irresponsible and dangerous driving.
"Awww, Dad," Johnny 99 complained, "but I was born to run.
Can't a car like me have a little fun?"
After a silent moment Johnny 99's dad dispenses great wisdom to his son:
"Johnny, life is not a race to be won. Remember this please.
You want to take time to stop and smell the engine grease.
Besides, out in the street is not where you should race.
If you want speed, you know the racetrack is the place."
Johnny 99 decides then and there to leave his home and head out to explore new territory and burn his tires across America. But life isn't always easy and a game to be played. Johnny 99 sends postcard and letters nearly every day telling his parents his whereabouts and the adventures he is having.
One such adventure is when a bit of bad luck turns into a bit of good luck. Johnny 99 is involved in an act of kindness given to him from a state trooper and a highway patrolman. This cordial deed sets Johnny 99 on a brand new road to pay back that act of kindness the first chance he gets. His now positive, changed attitude saves the lives of many people who otherwise would have perished one dreadful night due to a heavy rainfall and a bridge that was swallowed up, and no longer there.
Johnny 99 receives the recognition he is craving by doing something extraordinarily brave and selfless. This totally changes his perspective on life and he decides then and there to head on back to his home town and his family, both of which he misses a great deal.
The entire town welcomes him back and celebrates the courage and quick thinking he displayed in that crisis situation. He is deemed a local town hero by all. They all witness the change in this rebellious, prodigal son and rejoice in the fact, along with Johnny 99 himself, that while travelling to so many places and experiencing so much excitement and fun....there really is no place like home!
About the author and illustrator...
About the Author
Wendy Parnell writes music-inspired picture books for all ages. In addition to Born to Run: The Story of Johnny 99, her other books include Musta Notta Gotta Lotta Sleep Last Night (inspired by the music of Joe Ely), Super Louella (inspired by the music of Marcia Ball), and Rock Star Mom (release date, November 2015). Parnell was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and now lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her son and daughter. (Wendy is on the left)
About the Illustrator
Matt Hall has worked as a professional illustrator and art director in the entertainment industry since 1986. He lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with his wife, Michele, and their three sons.
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