Carver’s life and work are explored in meticulous detail in this activity-filled biography.
Readers who simply associate Carver’s name with the peanut may be surprised to learn how he learned his homesteading and farming skills, that he was an early conservationist, or that he vigorously disagreed with Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute on some matters despite their common goals. Readers will learn not only what is known about Carver’s life and work, but why some details are difficult to confirm (even Carver did not correct what he saw written about himself) and how the social climate of Reconstruction and segregation affected his work. The indignity of having to enter a separate door to speak to a white audience, and of giving the same speech to black and white audiences at separate times, is not brushed aside, but it is Carver’s personality, immense achievements, and recognition that shine. Thoroughly researched and honestly presented, this book is filled with enlightening information and is also an excellent example for young readers of how to present historical accounts. The activities are inspired by Carver’s life and values, and most are not only easy to do at home, but involve skills readers can build on, like making a rock collection and cooking with weeds.
This impressive treatment of a complex, admirable scientist and man provides hours of learning for curious kids. (timeline, resources, notes, bibliography) (Biography. 9-14)