Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, October 5, 2015

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton 
bu Don Tate
Peachtree, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-56145-825-7
Grades K-5

The reviewer received a galley from the publisher.

Earlier this year Louise reviewed The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate. Peachtree recently published a gorgeous picture book biography written and illustrated by Don Tate. Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is the amazing story of how one man overcame many obstacles and became a published and well-loved poet in North Carolina in the 1800s.

Upon opening the book readers will see lines of poetry on the endpapers, and it's clear that poetry is central to the theme of the book. Horton had a passion for words as a boy. Tate's accessible, narrative text describes how Horton grew up a slave in North Carolina and taught himself to read using an old spelling book. As a young man, Horton worked in the fields and sold vegetables at the University of North Carolina. He captured the attention of students and professors as he recited poetry from his fruit and vegetable cart. After finding success as a writer publishing his poetry in newspapers and books, Horton's owner refuses to allow Horton to buy his freedom.

The mixed media illustrations (ink, gouache, and pencil) use soft, earth tones. Tate effectively incorporates poetry into the illustrations. He researched Horton's life by reading the poet's autobiography and through research in North Carolina historical societies and universities. In the author's note Tate explains that his goal is to show slavery "as more than just an uncomfortable word." He aimed to demonstrate to readers that Horton is relevant "in their lives today."

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is a must-buy for school and public libraries. The power of words and poetry rings true, and Horton's perseverance and determination serve as a an inspiration for young readers.

Visit Don Tate's website for more information about Poet and to download the Teacher's Guide.

View the book trailer for Poet.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic book! I need to find a copy. Thanks for the post!