recommended by Jeni
An inspirational true story of a slave who taught himself to read by firelight as a young boy. George’s love of words didn’t stop there. He loved to read everything he could find- most especially beautiful poetry. Soon he began to create his own poetry, memorizing it all since he didn’t know how to write. When tasked to travel to university to sell fruit for his master, George soon found that the college students were awed by his compelling poetry. It didn’t take long for the college students to help George develop his talents and soon people were lining up to pay for his words. As word of the “slave poet” traveled, George caught the attention of a published writer who helped him learn to write. Eventually George was successful enough to buy his time away from his owner, alas, he was still technically enslaved. His master didn’t want to sell such a valuable piece of property. I recommend this book to anyone who loves history or just loves the power of language. It is a marvelous read! Did I mention that it’s a William Allen White 2017-2018 Nominee? Especially great for elementary-aged children.