Incident at the Panama Canal


This early reader chapter book series follows a multiracial, AfroLatinx family as they navigate the small and large adventures of life in Latin America!


Jahi is overjoyed to add his remote control Panama Canal train set to the family’s Día de los Muertos display. But when he faces a malfunction, his spirits sink.


When a possible catastrophe looms at the Panama Canal, Jahi’s great grandfather must find a way to solve the problem, and fast! Will Jahi learn not to give up from his bisabuelo—the first AfroPanamanian Canal train conductor?


With Spanish sprinkled in, join Jahi as he learns about the Panama Canal, the real-life train conductor, Alfred Springer, and about persevering. Nunca te des por vencido! Never give up!


Author’s Note


Alfred Springer was the first AfroPanamanian man to conduct a mule tow train at the Panama Canal. He is the author’s grandfather and her children’s bisabuelo. Although the author didn’t get to know her grandfather well when he was alive, she believes that his parents immigrated to Panama from Barbados to help build the Panama Canal. The story told in this book of saving the Locks from catastrophe is not a true account, though it is true that ships have crashed into the Canal at one time or another.

  • Language: English
  • Format: Paperback
  • Type: Early Chapter Book
  • Age Range: 5 – 9 Years Old
  • Grades: Kindergarten – 4th Grade
  • Publisher: Real Life Bricks
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-578-80821-5
  • Book Dimensions: 5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.85 x 19.84 cm)

About the Author


Giselle Fuerte is an AfroLatinx immigrant from Panama who lives in the United States with her husband and young children. She holds a graduate degree in education from the University of Southern California and, along with her husband and eldest child, operates Real Life Bricks, a customizer of LEGO® minifigures to make them reflect the diversity of the real world.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Buy Now
Collections: Books, Shop all Vendors: Code Switch Academy SKU: