George Washington Carver (National Geographic Readers)



There is a wonderful series of leveled readers out there, and it features great bios from history. Today's feature is a book called George Washington Carver, by Kitson Jazynka.

America has heard plenty of stories about the genius of George Washington Carver, but this book is different. It brings some of the more vague aspects of Carver’s life to the forefront, like how Carver lived in a rickety cabin that did not look to be much larger than an above-the-ground planting container for a garden bed. Readers ages 4 to 6 also learn that George and his mother were kidnapped from their owner, and that only George was returned. His mother's fate remains a mystery, but readers also learn that Carver's owners, Moses and Susan Carver, continued to raise him even after slavery was over.

Carver collected rocks and loved gardening--something that young readers may identify with. Young readers also learn that Americans of Carver’s day did not typically shop for their food in stores, but did their own farming to raise the food they would eat. The book goes on to tell how Carver helped people heal sick plants, made paint from berries and made paint brushes out of twigs. He even advised three US presidents about the art of farming.

This vibrant little book includes amazing photographs, a detailed time line, word pronunciation, and even a quiz for the quick-minded. Highly recommended for lower-elementary classrooms that discuss US history, social justice and careers.

Best wishes and happy inventing,
Rita Lorraine

Original book review appears on PICTURE BOOK DEPOT -


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