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Books:Kids Books and Atlases:Biography:The Ground-breaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver

The Ground-breaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver

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Another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as America's Plant Doctor.


Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young George Washington Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough threatens George's life, yet the disease will be the key to his future.


Unable to work in the fields, he spends his days studying plants. His desire for knowledge leads him to become the first black student, and later the first black faculty member, at Iowa State University. Carver pioneers hundreds of new uses for plants and revolutionizes American agriculture by teaching farmers the value of rotating cotton with nitrogen-rich crops.


Cheryl Harness's lively narrative follows Carver's rise to international fame: our hero dines at the White House, works with Henry Ford, and testifies to Congress.


  • Ages 8 to 12
  • 144 pages
  • 7 3/8" x 9"
  • © 2008

Cheryl Harness is the author and/or illustrator of some 35 children's books, including seven picture book biographies for National Geographic. She has a natural talent for making history fun for kids, injecting the "wow" factor into the lives of America's historical heroes and heroines. She has won multiple awards and now lives in her historic hometown of Independence, Missouri.


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