CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 12 . . . . February 2, 2007
George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life. (Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History).
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $7.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 978-1-55337-907-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55337-906-5 (cl.).
Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943-Juvenile literature.
African American agriculturists-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Agriculturists-United States-Juvenile literature.
Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.
Review by: Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen.
It’s hard to believe that something as small as a peanut can change a person’s life. But peanuts certainly altered the career of George Washington Carver. He went from being a little known professor to a world-famous peanut scientist. George created more than 325 products from peanuts, including substitutes for rubber, meat and wood stains.
George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life is the latest book in the “Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History” series by Elizabeth MacLeod. As with the other books in the series, it is laid out scrapbook-style with two page chapters. One page contains the main text while the other contains photographs and other illustrations with additional facts. The captions for the illustrations all have arrows pointing to the illustration to which they refer, and in the case of group pictures, such as the picture of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute staff from 1900, George Washington Carver is circled in the picture for easy identification. This approach avoids confusion on the busy pages and adds appeal to the layout.
Elizabeth MacLeod covers a wide variety of information about George Washington Carver. In addition to his work with peanuts, sweet potatoes and agricultural practices, MacLeod also covers areas such as his interest in art. There is a lot of material to work with in George’s life as he had many “firsts” and triumphs.
It would have been nice to know what happened to all of the products created by George Washington Carver and if they are still in use today. The book is unfortunately silent on this issue. However, there is a wealth of other information about George and his achievements covered within it.
George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life is very easy to read and well researched, with excellent pacing and good coverage of George’s life. It is a great book, full of information about a remarkable person.
Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a student in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC, Vancouver, BC.
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