Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Man for All Seasons: The Life of George Washington Carver

A Man for All Seasons: The Life of George Washington Carver

Stephen Krensky
Illustrator:  Wil Clay 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
HarperCollins, 2008   ISBN: 0060278854

George Carver grew up on the Carver farm in Missouri. George, Jim and their mother were owned by Susan and Moses Carver, and after slavery was abolished the little family stayed with the Carvers. After their mother’s death, the two boys were raised by the Carvers, who did their best to provide for George and Jim. When it became clear that George was bright and deserved an education, the Carvers supported his efforts to learn as much as he could.

When he was just twelve George left the only home he had ever known so that he could attend school. There was no school for African American children near the Carver farm. And so George worked and got a “patchwork education” as best he could. When he finally graduated from high school in 1884 when he was twenty, George wanted to go to college. He sent in applications but he was denied acceptance when the college authorities found out that George was black.

For a while George set aside the idea of continuing his education, but in the early 1890s he finally found a place in a college, and his life took a turn in a new and meaningful direction.

In this excellent picture book Stephen Krensky, who has written several other non-fiction titles about famous people and historic events, tells the story of George Washington Carver in an engaging way. He helps his readers to see how Carver overcame the many obstacles that were placed in his way, and how he ended up becoming one of the most famous African Americans of his time.