The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

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Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #202931
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Morrison, Frank,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-243015-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6949-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-243015-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6949-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018958892
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Barretta opens this sensitive biography on a moment of triumph as Carver overcomes the scorn of a roomful of white congressmen in 1921. Told he has only 10 minutes to make his case, he enthralls them, then talks for another hour. A portrait by Morrison shows Carver leaving the chamber, glad to have -share what he knew.- This incident anchors an exploration of his young life. Forbidden an education, Carver teaches himself by patient experimentation with flowers that he cultivates in secret -so no one could find them or tease him.- Eventually, he becomes a local asset: -Here comes the Plant Doctor,- neighbors say. Barretta explains why peanuts were crucial (cotton had exhausted the soil) and celebrates Carver-s formidable success as peanuts become the South-s most popular crop. -Regard Nature. Revere Nature. Respect Nature- were his prescient commands. Through myriad lush garden scenes and impressive portraiture by Morrison, Carver emerges as a generous figure, a -living folk hero,- able to do whatever he set out to and -always ready to serve humanity.- Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3 George Washington Carver is best known as an agricultural expert who discovered versatile uses for the peanut. This story focuses on his first garden. Hidden beneath the trees where no one could tease or belittle him, Carver studied nature and the "more he experimented, the more he learned." The narrative starts in 1921 with Carver addressing Congress on the importance of the peanut and impressing an audience of white men at a time when "African- Americans weretreated assecond-class citizens." Readers are then transported back to 1874, to the Missouri farm where Carver was born into slavery, and then to the end of slavery and the planting of his first garden. The narrative then focuses on Carver's determined search for education and finally his work as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. The beautiful oil on board illustrations show the wonder of young Carver as he contemplates the petals on a flower or the first green sprouts of spring. Barretta's prose, combined with Morrison's art, fully illuminates the depth of Carter's considerable contributions to the science of agriculture, the farming community, and racial equality. Back matter includes a time line of Carver's life, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading. VERDICT A well-thought-out biography that highlights a different side of Carver and will be a first purchase for school and public library collections. Suzanne Costner, Fairview Elementary School, Maryville, TN
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* George Washington Carver addresses a room full of white U.S. congressmen on the value of the peanut. Though initially met with racist derision, he quickly earns their respect. The scene then shifts to his childhood. Born into slavery in 1864, Carver lost both parents before freedom came the following year. Childless, his former owners raised him and his brother as their own. Carver, who loved flowers, created a secret garden in the woods, watering his plants, talking to them, and experimenting. Eventually, he began taking in his neighbors' sickly flowers, becoming "the plant doctor." At twelve years old, Carver left home to pursue a good education, and he found success despite poverty and racial prejudice. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly, experimenting, learning, and sharing his knowledge with others. In an expressive picture book that focuses on the subject's childhood more than his later accomplishments, Barretta creates a strong impression of Carver's delight in nature, drive to learn, and sense of purpose. The oil paintings by Morrison, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor recipient, reinforce those impressions with glorious scenes of the woodland garden as well as sensitive, dignified portrayals of Carver th the boy and the man. A biography illuminating the path, chosen in childhood, that Carver continued to follow.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (12/1/19)
School Library Journal Starred Review (12/1/19)
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3

The inspirational story of George Washington Carver and his childhood secret garden is brought to life in this picture book biography by the author-illustrator team behind Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born. When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own. Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George's love of nature sprouted into something so much more--his future. Gene Barretta's moving words and Frank Morrison's beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship--a tale that begins in a secret garden.


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