Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
By Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
When a child is curious, they just have to explore, and that’s exactly what Lonnie Johnson did as a child. Living in a small house with five brothers and sisters, he had challenges storing his rocket kits, bamboo shooters, rubber-band guns, erector set, go-kart engine, and all the other spare parts he used to make things. He was an inventor.
From scratch he taught himself how to make a rocket and launched it for his classmates. When an ‘exam’ told him he would not make a good engineer, he pushed through those claims because he knew he had Linux, a robot he had created from spare parts. In 1968 he and Linux won a science fair at the University of Alabama, where only five years earlier, African American students hadn’t even been allowed. In time he invents the Super-Soaker and, with perseverance, his dreams come true. An inspiring story with encouragement to push through setbacks.