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Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
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Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  744 ratings  ·  169 reviews
In the nineteenth century, North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and earned money to purchase his timethough not his freedom. Horton became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Peachtree
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Melissa
It seemed rather poignant that I read this book. With the last few months showing that sadly racism has not died I thought it important to introduce my son to dark time in our history...Slavery. I doubt that my son will ever understand white privilege (sadly most white people don't). But I'm happy to say that he is raised in a family where we know that is not the color of your skin that matters but rather who you are as a person.

George Moses Horton was a slave in North Carolina. From an early
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd never heard of this slave poet until I read this book. Tate has done young readers a great service by bringing this forgotten poet to their attention today. As a boy Horton taught himself to read, even though it was forbidden. He composed poems in his head, and memorized them. Later, a white woman, also a poet, taught him how to write so that he could set his poems down on paper. He published two volumes of poetry while he was a slave, and a third one after the Emancipation Proclamation set ...more
Edward Sullivan
The wonderful, inspiring true story of North Carolina slave George Moses Horton who taught himself to read and write, and became an accomplished poet. He earned money to purchase his time though not his freedom. Horton was the first African American published in the South.
Remarkable indeed!
Kelly
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"My heart to lift, my empty mind to feed, And all the world explore."

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review through NetGalley.)

George Moses Horton (1798–1884) was an African-American poet - the first black poet to be published in the Southern United States, as a matter of fact. Born into slavery, he taught himself to read and composed and memorized poetry in his head. When he was 17, his master decided to divide the estate. George and his family were
...more
Tasha
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
George’s family were slaves in North Carolina. Though he loved words, George was not allowed to learn to read. But he listened when the white children did their ABCs and then got himself an old spelling book along with a book from his mother and taught himself how to read. He read everything that he could find, but loved poems most of all. He spent his workdays composing poems in his head, though he didn’t know how to write them down. Soon after, his family was split apart and he was sent to ...more
Elaine
This book brings to life the experiences of the first African-American to be published in the southern states of America. George Moses Horton lived in Chatham County, North Carolina. He was a slave who worked on a farm, taught himself to read and eventually became a published poet, but he still wasn’t a free man until after the Civil War. This book brings to life his story, relating his experiences as a slave and how he became so well known. It is told in an easy to understand manner that ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
Don Tate has really come into his own as a picture book author and illustrator. He's written and/or illustrated several picture book biographies about lesser known African-Americans, two of our favorites being The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch and It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw. This time, in a book he both wrote and illustrated, he turns his attention to George Moses Horton. His unique illustrations brings to life this nearly forgotten poet from North Carolina who taught ...more
Bruce
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Young George was determined to learn how to read, but because he and his family were enslaved it was difficult. He listened to the white children when they practiced their lessons, and then he found an old spelling book and taught himself how to read by staying up late and studying it by firelight. As a teenager he sold fruit and vegetables grown on his farm to the students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also recited poetry he had composed. Soon students were paying him ...more
Laurie
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This poet book talks about this little boy named George Moses Horton. He grew up in North Carolina as a slavery boy and not knowing how to read. Horton became the first African American to be published in the South protesting slavery in the Southern United States his verse of poems are remarkable..Horton taught himself how to read and write as he listens to the white children when they were doing their lessons. Horton also found an old selling book that helped him to read. Horton was the sixth ...more
Sharon Lawler
Received this title as an Adobe Digital Edition, and finally, after battling the system to get in and add this ADE to my shelf, I am able to view and read Poet! So glad I stuck with the trouble shooting because this picture book is a delight to read. Don Tate brings to life George Moses Horton, a slave who taught himself to read, first with a Wesley Hymnal, then a spelling book, and always he listened as the master's children as they practiced their lessons. Pages are graced with snippets of ...more
Craig Sisterson
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
An outstanding book for children (that adults can also get a lot from), delightfully illustrated, presenting the story of an amazing man, George Moses Horton. With words and pictures Don Tate takes us through the story of George's remarkable life, where his strong spirit and love for language helped him grow from an illiterate slave boy working the fields to an extraordinary and important voice in America's literary and poetic history. This book is everything that children's books should be - ...more
Braley Hale
This story is about George Moses Horton who was an African American poet. George liked words but he never knew how to read because he was enslaved. His mother wanted to help so bad, but she didn’t know how so she gave him a book of songs. He had also found an old spelling book, which is how he began to read. Therefore, he loved poetry and is amazing journey made him the first African American to be published that was still enslaved. Overall, I find this book very inspiring because you can do ...more
Angela
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great story about the power of words to loosen the bonds of slavery with exceptional illustrations by the youthful, wise Don Tate.

Highly recommended for schools and libraries. So much teachable material in this inspirational biography.
Loren
Professional Support/Diverse Lit Paper
resource
Benjamin
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Important inspiring story, great pictures.
Maria Caplin
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful language that shares a story I never knew. The power of books, poetry and words. "Words made him strong." " Words allowed him to dream"
Sarah Coutts
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre: Biography
Grade Level: Kindergarten to 5th
One Unique Feature: This story provides readers with insight into what slavery was like and the desire to achieve freedom. Tate teaches many lessons throughout the story, such as hard work, following dreams, and a passion for poetry. While the topics discussed in the story can be rather difficult, Tate presented them in a kid-friendly way. In a classroom, teachers can read this story to initiate discussions about slavery and perseverance.
Morgan Bindas
This book is about a little boy, unable to attend school or to learn how to read. But that did not stop him from wanting to do it. He listening to children and learned the alphabet and taught himself how to read. I love this book, it truly shows children to not give up on something they want in life. It also introduces them to slavery and how it effected several people.
Stephanie Chiaro
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is based on the true story of George Moses Horton, a young African American boy who was enslaved for the first sixty-six years of his life. The story describes his journey as a poet, from the moment he realized that he loved words until the moment he is freed. The story begins by describing where Horton fell in love with words, which were delivered in a sermon and through songs. He taught himself the alphabet by listening to the white children ...more
Stephanie Easton
George Horton, a slave, could not read or write. Through determination and hard work, he taught himself to read by listening to the white children practice their alphabets and studying an old spelling book. He began to create poetry, and memorize them, though he still could not write. He shared his poetry with students at the local university while selling them produce. The students began paying him to write poetry for their significant others. George Horton used his words and his poetry to gain ...more
Natalie Jarman
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this nonfiction powerful biography of George Moses Horton, we learn of a talented and determined enslaved southern African-American. George was not allowed to attend school, but he listened to the white children’s lessons, learned the alphabet, and taught himself how to read, he began to write verses protesting slavery and telling about his life. As he sold fruits and vegetables near a college campus, he would recite his poems, and before he knew it, he had customers showing up for his ...more
Kellee Moye
Reviewed at http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=8815

I know that I am blessed to live as I do, but I forget that even words are something that I am lucky to have. Tate’s story of George Moses Horton shows that words are not something we should take for granted, and also shows the beauty and strength of words. In Horton’s story, words not only influence him to become a poet but allow him to make money and live on his own throughout some of his life. Eventually, as a free man after the Civil War,
...more
Cc Fortenberry
This book tells the story of George Moses Horton, a poet and a slave in the nineteenth century. He taught himself how to read using a hymn book given to him by his mother, and he was first published when he was still enslaved. He became the first African American to be published in the South and protested slavery through writing poems.

I thought this book was so great and such a fantastic example of a student truly yearning for education. The illustrations were beautiful and I loved the
...more
Christina
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
George is a boy born into slavery in North Carolina. He loves words and teaches himself to read by listening to the white children study and finding discarded books. As an adult, George is sent to a University each Sunday to sell his owner’s produce. He sells his poems to students and makes enough money to buy his time back from his owner. George becomes free under President Abraham Lincoln when he is sixty-six years old. This information picture book is a biography that inspires hope while ...more
Karissa Youngblood
George Horton, a slave, could not read or write. Through determined, hard work, he taught himself to read by listening to the white children practice their alphabets and an old spelling book. He began to create poetry, and memorize them, though he still could not write. He shared his poetry with students at the local university while selling them produce. The students began paying hi to write poetry for their significant others. Though in the end he could not buy his freedom, he had his poetry ...more
Missy
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This picture book biography presents the life of a truly notable individual. George Moses Horton was a slave and a poet who lived in North Carolina in the 19th century. During his lifetime, Horton taught himself to read and write, freeing the lyrical impulse that lived within him. His life took a fascinating turn; Horton supported himself through his writing and was able to pay his master for his time. However, Horton was still living under the cruel bondage of slavery. I won’t spoil the ending, ...more
Diane
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
As George sat and listened to the sermons preached and the songs sung, he wanted to be able to read. But since he was a slave, he was not able to attend school and could not read. But he was determined to to make sense of the letters in the book that his mother gave him. He taught himself to read and he devoured everything he could get his hands on. The words to the hymns that he read stayed in his mind–those poetic phrases worked on him. He soon began to write poetry, but was still a slave. But ...more
Cara Byrne
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Winner of the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats illustrator award, _Poet_ is a lovely biography of George Moses Horton, an enslaved man who did everything he could to learn how to read and eventually became a very gifted poet. It's striking that in his author's note, Tate remarks that "When I first began illustrating children's books, I decided that I would not work on stories relevant to young readers today. In all honesty, though, what I wasn't admitting to myself was that I was ashamed of the topic." As ...more
Carley
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of George Moses Horton, a poet and a slave in the 1800s. He taught himself how to read using a hymn book given to him by his mother. The craziest thing is that he was first published while he was still enslaved. He became the first African American to be published in the South and protested slavery through writing poems.

The illustrations in this book were beautiful, but the thing that really blew my mind is that he was published as a slave!

This book would be good for
...more
Katherine Niemi
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-230-books
APA citation: auth&ill Tate, Don (2015) Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, Atlanta , Georgia, Peachtree publishers media: gouache, archival ink, and pencil on acid free 100% cotton watercolor paper.
Summary: This endearing novel shows the life of young slave who falls in love with words, and begins to recite and create poems. He becomes a poet entrepreneur selling his beautiful poems. He then learns to write as well and goes on to create more beautiful poems including those on
...more
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Don Tate is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. He is also one of the founding hosts of the blog The Brown Bookshelf - a blog dedicated to books for African American young readers with book reviews, author and illustrator interviews. Likewise, Don is a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, a grassroots organization created to ...more