Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Written and Illustrated by Don Tate
Age Level: 6 – 10
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
How does a little boy born into slavery in North Carolina become a poet? Read this quiet story to find out how. When George grew up, slaves weren’t allowed to learn to read. George knew his ABC’s and he taught himself to read using an old spelling book. This is a great story to teach, not preach, the value of literacy. Read on to see how he made his first sale. It’s a great story! George did well enough that he tried to buy his freedom, but his master refused. I’m so glad he didn’t pay the man a dime. He got his freedom after the Civil War.
I was also fascinated with the author’s note. It tells Don’s story as an African-American, how he left shame behind by telling George’s story, and found pride in what slaves endured and accomplished. Don tells you about life in North Carolina in the mid1800’s, and why George succeeded. Don’s last page gives credits to those who helped him put this story together. He told about his journey from inspiration to research, to editing and the critique partners who assisted him in writing and illustrating. If you’re fascinated like I am with what it takes to publish a book, you wil love this part of the story.