Casey's Reviews > Carver: A Life in Poems

Carver by Marilyn Nelson
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Dec 08, 11

Read from November 30 to December 08, 2011

1. Genre: poetry, junior books

2. Summary: This book of poems tells the story of George Washington Carver, the amazing botanist and inventor who became famous for his peanut plants. Carver was raised in the 1860's by white salve owners and eventually set out on his own to receive an education earning his master's degree in agriculture.

3. Critique:

a.) For me, the strength of these poems are the information that are introduced.

b.) Unfortunately, the only thing I really ever knew about Carver is that he was raised by slave owners and made the peanut plant famous. These poems do such a great job of introducing new details and information on the life of George Washington Carver that I never would have known without reading these poems.

c.) For example, I had heard of the Tuskeege Institute but I had never known that Booker T. Washington himself invited Carver to join him at the institue which was presented in the poem, "Called." (pg. 33)As I said before, I have always known the Carver was a slave but I had never heard the details of the actual story of how he was sold and bought by a white slave owner family which I found out in the first poem, "Out of Slave's Ransom." (pg. 9) Reading this collection of poems will allow you to get to know the details of George Washington Carver's life.

4. Curriculum Connection: I would read this book to older elementary students and middle school students. This would be the perfect social studies connection. Students could learn about the life of Carver and then study the machines that were made to help aid the production of crops like peanuts and cotton. The students could do some sort of research project on crop machines and how they help the industry.
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