George loved words. Enslaved and forced to work long hours, he was unable to attend school or learn how to read.
But he was determined―he listened to the white children's lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read.
Soon, he began composing poetry in his head and reciting it aloud as he sold fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the enslaved poet traveled quickly among the students, and before long, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?
Award-winning author-illustrator Don Tate tells an inspiring and moving story of talent and determination in this powerful picture book biography of George Moses Horton, the first southern Black writer to have his work published.
Don Tate grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, where he learned about Black history at the Center for Study and Application of Black Theology. He grew up to become an author and illustrator of numerous award-winning children's books, including It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw and Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, both of received Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor awards. He lives in Austin, Texas.
★ "A lovely introduction to an inspirational American poet." —School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ "[Tate's] decision to illuminate this remarkable man's life offers a new perspective with remarkable clarity." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "Tate's mixed-media illustrations glow with bright greens and yellows, radiating a warmth, hope, and promise that echo this stirring biography's closing message" —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review