An informally written but effective introduction to the noted black surveyor/astronomer. Ferris describes Banneker's background, his self-education (supplemented by four years in a Quaker school), his interest in astronomy and the technology related to it, his work with L'Enfant in surveying the District of Columbia, and the almanacs he produced between 1792 and 1797. The author portrays Banneker as a quiet, determined man whose 1793 letter to President Jefferson concerning the necessity of freeing the slaves was the product of a steady, lifelong pride and integrity. The narrative ends with his death in 1806, but there is a final section listing information omitted from the text. Unfortunately, Johnson's black-and-white watercolors are muddy and uninspired. Since there are few biographies of Banneker currently available, this title in the ""Creative Minds"" series will be welcome for its usefulness as well as for its entertaining, straightforward presentation. No Index.