Carver by Marilyn Nelson

Carver by Marilyn Nelson. Astra Books, c2001, 2022. 9781635925616

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Paperback

Genre:  Biography, poetry

What did you like about the book? Accounts of the life of George Washington Carver often focus exclusively on the amazing peanut research he produced, with little reference to his early years and how he came to be famous. This book covers his life from his childhood through adulthood in poetry form. We learn in the opening poems about his mother who was enslaved and how Mary Carver and George were stolen. We then follow George back to Susan Carver who once owned his mother. Each poem highlights a different time period of George’s life and is packed with details about who he was and his accomplishments. In one poem we learned about Carver’s enrollment in Simpson College and how he majored in art. Many of these facts are topics we rarely see discussed in text about George Washington Carver. There are no illustrations in the book; however, there are photographs of the famous inventor at different times in his life. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? This is a great collection of poems. It would have been nice to have a general timeline of George Washington Carver’s life at the back of the book for reference. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is perfect for the history loving reader. This would be great for a reader ages 12 years old and older. 

Who should buy this book? Middle & high school, public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Depending on your collection, it could go in biography or in 811.54

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA

Date of review: August 9, 2022

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