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The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America: Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee, Black Americans Struggle Up from Slavery, American Inventors Then and Now, and Much, Much More

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The multitalented hand of Cheryl Harness creates another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as America’s Plant Doctor. Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough thre The multitalented hand of Cheryl Harness creates another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as America’s Plant Doctor. Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough threatens George’s life, yet the disease will be the key to his future. Unable to work in the fields, he spends his days studying plants. His desire for knowledge leads him to the rich farmlands of Iowa, where he becomes the first black student—and later the first black faculty member—at the state university. Carver pioneers hundreds of new uses for plants and revolutionizes American agriculture by teaching farmers the value of rotating cotton with nitrogen-rich crops. Cheryl Harness’ lively narrative follows Carver’s rise to international fame: our hero dines at the White House, works with Henry Ford, and testifies to Congress. The book’s vivid illustrations are an invitation to step back in time and become an active participant in this compelling story. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.


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The multitalented hand of Cheryl Harness creates another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as America’s Plant Doctor. Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough thre The multitalented hand of Cheryl Harness creates another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as America’s Plant Doctor. Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough threatens George’s life, yet the disease will be the key to his future. Unable to work in the fields, he spends his days studying plants. His desire for knowledge leads him to the rich farmlands of Iowa, where he becomes the first black student—and later the first black faculty member—at the state university. Carver pioneers hundreds of new uses for plants and revolutionizes American agriculture by teaching farmers the value of rotating cotton with nitrogen-rich crops. Cheryl Harness’ lively narrative follows Carver’s rise to international fame: our hero dines at the White House, works with Henry Ford, and testifies to Congress. The book’s vivid illustrations are an invitation to step back in time and become an active participant in this compelling story. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

30 review for The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America: Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee, Black Americans Struggle Up from Slavery, American Inventors Then and Now, and Much, Much More

  1. 4 out of 5

    SurLeFur ©

    As a scientist, a teacher, and the First black man pictured on a us postal stamp this story teaches the promise of a healthy, wise, American.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim Tyo-Dickerson

    This illuminating and inspiring biography of one of America's most influential thinkers and innovators, George Washington Carver, is a master-class in anti-racist writing that fully incorporates Carver's life and work into a multicultural, global context. Outstanding choice for all school libraries and anyone studying the UN's Sustainable Development Goals centered on poverty, hunger, climate action, and biodiversity. On every page is an international, multicultural timeline running under the tex This illuminating and inspiring biography of one of America's most influential thinkers and innovators, George Washington Carver, is a master-class in anti-racist writing that fully incorporates Carver's life and work into a multicultural, global context. Outstanding choice for all school libraries and anyone studying the UN's Sustainable Development Goals centered on poverty, hunger, climate action, and biodiversity. On every page is an international, multicultural timeline running under the text about Carver's childhood in slavery, his quest for the solitude of the forest and its flowers and plants, his persistent yearning for education that drove him to leave the white homestead where he and his brother were being raised in the segregated South at age 12, his work doing laundry and odd jobs to pay his way through schools for Black students, his brilliance at the predominately white Iowa State that led Booker T. Washington to offer him a position at the black-agricultural college in Tuskegee, Alabama. Through it all, Carver cared little for money or earthly possessions, although he was quite proud of his progress and unafraid to say so, wearing that shield of pride as a kind of protection from a society that de-valued and dehumanized Black people and carried him ever forward against all odds, and was known for wearing well-worn suits that were always and only brightened by a fresh flower on his lapel. He was openly devout and dedicated to lifting his Black communities and farmers up through environmentally savvy agricultural practices that focused on replenishing the soil through crop rotations and relying on biochemical industry applications of plant products to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels. Illustrated dramatically throughout by the author with compelling woodcut-style drawings that position Carver in his milieu both as an American scientist and a worldwide expert in agricultural products "grown or gotten from the land," every page has something of historical interest to stop and explore. The history of African American people is richly described, highlighted, and celebrated alongside the many humiliations that Carver, renowned expert that he was, had to endure due to the deep ebony of his skin. Right beside the 1899 timeline entry for the completion of the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the entry for Emperor Menelik II unifying Ethiopia and choosing Addis Ababa as the capital. Harness includes the story about how Carver in 1918 shared with a medical missionary to colonized Belgian Congo, today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a recipe for peanut milk to supplement the diet of African children. Africa to Asia, politics to popular culture, men and women, Harness takes delight in bringing Carver to a multi-faceted world stage. Highly recommended for students in grades 6 and up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lori Schmidt

    This was a great read! I read it out loud to my kids. I'd definitely recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    I've always been fascinated by George Washington Carver. He was such a brilliant, multi-talented man! Here Cheryl Harness shows us his personality as well as the facts of his life. The timeline along the bottom of each page talking about other events going on in the world while Carver lived emphasized the fact that he was living in a time of great technological change and many, many inventions, of which he was a part. I wonder if there are any old film clips or recordings of his lectures? He mus I've always been fascinated by George Washington Carver. He was such a brilliant, multi-talented man! Here Cheryl Harness shows us his personality as well as the facts of his life. The timeline along the bottom of each page talking about other events going on in the world while Carver lived emphasized the fact that he was living in a time of great technological change and many, many inventions, of which he was a part. I wonder if there are any old film clips or recordings of his lectures? He must have been a fascinating speaker to have captivated Congress into giving him more than his allotted 10 minutes. Carver is yet another historical personage whom I wish I could have met. But the best I can do is read biographies like this one, which I recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maan

    Book #29 for 2012: It was interesting to read the journey of an African-American man towards education and greatness. I was cheering for him all throughout the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kara Rull

  7. 4 out of 5

    Evangeline

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  9. 5 out of 5

    Frederick W Draxton

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin Nguyen

  13. 4 out of 5

    A. Loryn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas & Megan Clinch

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roger Flores-Chacon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Holley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carmela N.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sam Gaylor

  20. 4 out of 5

    SP

  21. 5 out of 5

    Edith

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tori Shenett

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tiffiny

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sallie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hope

  26. 5 out of 5

    LeeAnna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Swanger

  28. 4 out of 5

    September

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gina

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