by Sacha Cotter (Author) Josh Morgan (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

A summer tale about family, overcoming fears, and the importance of being oneself, all in the pursuit of performing the perfect cannonball

I'm ready to pull off the perfect cannonball, but everyone has advice.

"You need more weight"

"Bigger shorts!"

"More muscles!"


As one boy searches for the secret to executing the perfect cannonball, it's only by listening to his own voice that he finds his unique style and pulls off a truly awe-inspiring CANNONBALL.

A celebration of native culture, a glossary including Maori words is included.

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$16.19 $17.99

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Kirkus Reviews

This distinctive story of summer fun and growth, set within a culture underrepresented on North American shelves, carries a universal message of listening to one's own heart and being oneself when the world tries to tell you how and who to be.


Striking...this story's message for kids to be true to themselves is one that bears repeating.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

K-Gr 3—In this story of resilience, a young boy in New Zealand just wants to perform a perfect cannonball into the swimming pool. The unnamed boy has studied how others prepare for their jump and got advice from his Nan. Despite the boy's best efforts to seem confident, fear gets in the way and prevents him from making the jump. Morgan surrounds an image of the young boy in utter darkness as he walks away with his head down in defeat. Just when it seems all hope is lost, Nan steps in and encourages him to listen to what's inside himself and try it his way. His confidence begins to build and he is able to perform a successful cannonball. The images are bright and detailed. VERDICT Recommended for purchase. Along with the expressive images, the story will resonate with those learning how to navigate the emotional minefield of turning a failure into a success.—Katie Callahan, Montgomery County Public Sch., MD

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication date
June 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV032060 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Water Sports
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Individuality in children
Ability in children
Best Book of the Month

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