Reviews for Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America

Booklist Reviews 2008 July #1
Seasoned author Harness places "the sage of Tuskegee" firmly in context in this unusually lively portrait, which delivers biographical details amid flurries of period references to politics, scientific discoveries, births, deaths, and cultural trends. Appealing features of previous books in the Cheryl Harness History series recur here: there's an illustrated time line on every spread, multimedia resource lists, and plenty of black-and-white drawings. However, the book's quotations are unsourced. Suggest this as a companion to Tonya Bolden's George Washington Carver (2008), which features archival illustrations that will pair nicely with Harness' more interpretive drawings. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Animated writing and intricate black-and-white illustrations drive this biography of Carver, the son of slaves whose curiosity and altruism led him to become a scientist, researcher, and educator in the field of agriculture. An extensive timeline of world events runs along the bottom of the pages. The book is jam-packed with information in a way that can be overwhelming. Reading list. Bib., ind. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 July

Gr 4-8-- Harness presents Carver as a man who, regardless of constant hardship and racial prejudice, persevered to become a beloved teacher and devoted scientist. From the beginning, she puts his life in historical context by looking at the effects of racism on his career choices and by talking about the achievements and beliefs of his contemporaries, many of whom he knew. The author raises challenging questions throughout, especially when she discusses debates over whether Carver was truly a great scientist or more a public thinker who promoted science to help better understand the world. The lively prose style conveys his sense of passion and adventure about the man and his intellectual pursuits, and the simple black-and-white drawings add a further sense of drama. This is not just a good choice for biography assignments; it's also a strong recommendation for a nonfiction read-aloud and as a way to interest fiction readers in biography.--Michael Santangelo, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

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