As part of their botany curriculum this year, my teen boys had to read The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America . This is one of a series of books by written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness and published by the National Geographic Society. While I haven’t read the others, I can tell you I was extremely impressed by this installment.
The book, as one might expect, tells the story of George Washington Carver’s life, but it goes beyond that, placing Carver in historical context with the world around him. At the bottom of the text throughout the entire book is an illustrated timeline of other events / inventions / people which were significant at that time. It made for fascinating reading all by itself, providing an interesting snapshot of the world in which Carver lived and worked.
Harness is a talented writer and illustrator. The text is easy to read and understand while offering a great deal of information and will keep both young people and adults engaged. The illustrations are rendered in black and white and are a cross between a cartoon and a realistic style. They both break up and add to the text, helping to make the book appealing to a wide spectrum of readers.