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Monday, February 15, 2016

Youngsters Can Learn about George Washington Carver During Black History Month

George Washington Carver
Written by Kitson Jazynka
National Geographic Children’s Books, January 2016

“George Washington Carver” offers simply written text and colorful illustrations to appeal to beginning readers and younger children. The picture book is a Level 1 reader for children who are starting to read.

Carver was an African American man who was born into slavery but became a respected expert on agriculture. He helped farmers grow sustainable crops, and he found more than 300 uses for peanut plants. These include glue, medicine, gasoline and paper.

The book also tells youngsters that in Carver’s time life was hard for many black people in the United States. Among several words defined in the book is racism.

Carver became the first black student at Iowa State College. Later, he gave advice to U.S. presidents about farming and spoke to the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Navy named two ships in his honor. His face appeared on two postage stamps.

In addition to telling Carver’s story, the book uses pictures and words to teach children several ways life was different in the 1870s. These include using different modes of transportation, using barter instead of money, growing food instead of buying it in a store, learning in one-room schoolhouses, and playing outdoors or with handmade toys.

About the Author:

Kitson Jazyka is an award-winning freelance writer and children's author. Her work appears regularly in National Geographic Kids, American Girl, and Young Rider magazines, as well as the Washington Post's KidsPost. In 2011, she worked with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation to write a book called The Making of the Memorial, a history of the creation of the memorial to Dr. King on the National Mall. Kitson also contributes to national equestrian and dog magazines including, Dog Fancy, Horse Illustrated, and Dressage Today. Her picture book, “Carrot in My Pocket,” was published in 2001.

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