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|No small potatoes : Junius G. Groves and his kingdom in Kansas|
Author: Bolden, Tonya
The life of Junius G. Groves, a sharecropper in Kansas who grew a modest potato farm into a potato kingdom.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 198037
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/18)
School Library Journal (09/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
The Hornbook (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2018 Dynamo book creators come together to tell a long overdue story, the hero of which is introduced through the laid-back text: “One Potato. Two Potato. Thirty-Eleven Million Potatoes? Is that how many potatoes Junius George Groves grew? . . . not exactly [but] he sure grew piles and piles of spuds.” Born into slavery in Kentucky, Groves headed west following Reconstruction, finding work on a Kansas potato farm and overcoming naysayers to become the “Potato King of the World.” Along with his crop, he grew a family, a community, and a fortune, becoming one of the most successful African Americans of his time, all of which Tate shows through engaging mixed-media cartoon-style art. Text boxes share direct quotes, allowing Groves to speak in his own voice, and back matter includes source notes and a time line that helps flesh out the history. Far more than a tale of tubers, this is an inspiring account of hard work and a wonderful picture-book biography of a self-made farmer. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 K-Gr 3—Bolden has written a delightful picture book biography of Junius G. Groves, who was born into slavery in 1859 but went on to create an agricultural empire that earned him the title "Potato King of the World" in 1902. As part of the mass exodus of African Americans from the South after the Civil War, Groves left Kentucky and settled in Kansas. There he educated himself in the science of agriculture and successfully built a vast potato growing empire that made him one of the richest men in his time. Bolden retells this tale of a life of hard work and lasting influence in a narrative peppered with alliterative, and occasionally rhyming, phrases: "Exodusters journeyed by steamboat, by train, in bumpety-bump oxcarts, in wide-wheeled wagons." Quotes from Groves's diary are set in text boxes throughout the book: "It was several weeks before I could get work on a farm, and when I finally did secure a place, it was at almost starvation wages, 40 cents per day." Tate successfully matches the energy of the text with engaging cartoon artwork, done in mixed media with a palette of sandy browns and bright greens, which thoughtfully depict Groves and his family. VERDICT A charming mix of biography, history, agriculture, math, and lots of potatoes—a great addition to nonfiction collections.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.