#Cybils Picture Book Biographies: Poet George Moses Horton

Our next picture book biography nominated for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category, is the moving and powerful Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate.

Those of us who are interested in children’s literacy are already aware of the importance of being able to read, but sometimes it takes a book like this one to reinforce the extraordinary importance of education for all people.

George Moses Horton grew up enslaved in North Carolina during a time when people like him were not allowed to learn to read or write. Somehow, through sheer force of will and a few tattered cast-off books, he was able to not only teach himself to read, but also to become an accomplished and published poet.

Don Tate is an author/illustrator and his love of his craft is evident. His first solo effort, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (reviewed here) earned the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award in 2013. I expect we’re going to see more great things from him in the future.

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton hits all the right notes. It might be just the right title to inspire a reluctant or struggling reader to put away that video game and read some books.

Related Activity:

Read and discuss George Moses Horton, Myself (from Poetry Foundation). Discuss why he felt his genius was a restless bird trapped in his heart.

Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1561458252
ISBN-13: 978-1561458257

Have you seen this book yet? What did you think?

Picture book biographiesMonday: Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine
Tuesday:  Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews

Thursday:  Growing up Pedro

Disclosure: This book was supplied by my local public library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

#Cybils Picture Book Biographies: Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Picture book biographies have been hugely popular this year. Reflecting recent calls for increased diversity, these books aren’t all about the same few famous dead white guys, either. This week we are featuring some of the excellent titles nominated for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.

Picture book biographies

Let’s kick off picture book biography week with Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by April Chu, which is the story of a unique and fascinating woman who was years ahead of her time.

Adults may have heard of the British poet Lord Byron, but likely they have missed the story of his inventive math whiz of a daughter, Ada Byron Lovelace. Lovelace overcame a severe childhood illness to write the first computer program. Who knows what she might have achieved if she hadn’t died at a relatively young age and if her collaborator, Charles Babbage, had actually built the analytical machine he had planned.

The combination of Wallmark’s passionate text and April Chu’s superb bold illustrations make this book stand out from the pack. Children will appreciate the fact Chu included a playful cat in the illustrations, adding interest and continuity from page to page.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is likely to resonate with kids interested in computers, math, and engineering and inspire some who haven’t yet found their passions. History buffs, particularly those interested in women’s history, will also want to check it out.

Have you seen this book yet? What did you think?

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Creston Books (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1939547202
ISBN-13: 978-1939547200

For more books like this, check our list of 21+ children’s books about women scientists at Science Books for Kids.

List of other Picture Book Biographies Featured:

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.