Now, when I walk towards the shelves on Thursday mornings to select books for my Thursday post, I have this feeling that the books have sprung to life. The characters seem to be jumping out, waving their hands and calling “choose me – I need some attention!” Over all of the competing voices, the picture book biographies exerted the greatest pull over me today. I could see John Wesley Powell paddling his canoe, as if to say, “no one’s read about me for awhile and I had a pretty incredible life,” so, with that in mind – today’s list:
Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer by Deborah Kogan Ray
Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa by Don Brown
A Man for All Seasons: The Life of George Washington Carver by Stephen Krensky
This group includes a scientist who encouraged others to understand the potential in a peanut, a 19th century English woman who traveled through West Africa in 1893 and 1894 and, of course, John Wesley Powell who led the first scientific expedition down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Each of them lived a fascinating and inspiring life, and they have each been honored by wonderful books for young readers.