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|Poet : the remarkable story of George Moses Horton|
Author: Tate, Don
North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 175345
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 66172
Common Core Standards
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/15)
School Library Journal (+) (07/01/15)
The Hornbook (00/09/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2015 Gr 2–5—This picture book biography of poet George Moses Horton (1798–1884), a slave and the first African American poet to be published in the South, recounts his fascinating long life and masterly way with words. Tate's distinctive illustrations feature gently curving horizons, bucolic washes of color, and figures with oversize heads and stylized, expressive faces. The illustrations and the accessible, lyrical text spare readers from the full force of slavery's brutality: enslaved people are shown as ragged but resilient, Horton's forced labor in the fields is genteelly called "disagreeable," and the scene of a slave revolt is bloodless. Tate integrates historical context into the narrative, for instance, describing how prominent abolitionists tried to help Horton buy his freedom or how his business writing love poems for hire folded because his customers enlisted in the Confederate army. Nevertheless, the focus remains on Horton and his emotional journey: triumph at his first publication; heartbreak when he was sold from his family; joy and contentment in his old age when he was, at last, free. Several of Horton's verses appear throughout the book, and back matter includes an extensive author's note and source list. VERDICT A lovely introduction to an inspirational American poet.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2015 George Horton, an enslaved person living in early-nineteenth-century North Carolina, taught himself to read by listening to white children recite the alphabet and puzzling through an old spelling book. He could not write, but he began composing poetry and memorizing his work. Sent by his master to sell produce at the University of North Carolina, he started sharing his poetry with the students, who commissioned him to write poems for their sweethearts. Though still enslaved, Horton eventually learned to write and published his work. Although his master never let him purchase his freedom, he felt that “words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.” Tate’s full-color mixed-media illustrations are slightly cartoonish, which helps leaven the serious subject matter and effectively portrays Horton’s love of language, while frequent quotations from Horton’s poems keep his voice a constant presence. Though large blocks of text make this better suited to more experienced readers, the ample historical context and moving story will help children better understand the antebellum period. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.