Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Brian Davis Pinkney |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Dear Benjamin Banneker

Dear Benjamin Banneker

by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Brian Davis Pinkney
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Throughout his life Banneker was troubled that all blacks were not free. And so, in 1791, he wrote to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Banneker attacked the institution of slavery and dared to call Jefferson a hypocrite for owning slaves. Jefferson responded. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker--his science,

Overview

Throughout his life Banneker was troubled that all blacks were not free. And so, in 1791, he wrote to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Banneker attacked the institution of slavery and dared to call Jefferson a hypocrite for owning slaves. Jefferson responded. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker--his science, his politics, his morals, and his extraordinary correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated in full-page scratchboard and oil paintings by Caldecott Honor artist Brian Pinkney.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A nice introduction to a very important person in American history."—American Bookseller
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banneker, an 18th-century astronomer and mathematician, was a free African American who corresponded with Thomas Jefferson about ending slavery. In a starred review, PW called this illustrated biography "a memorable portrait." Ages 6-10. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Leila J. Toledo
The Banneker family was a free black family long before the Emancipation Proclamation. Very little is written about people or families who were free before the end of slavery. Dear Benjamin Banneker presents an account of a life of a black man who turned his thoughts to the sky and wondered about the stars, moon and the sun. It also covers an extraordinary account of a correspondence between him and Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, regarding slavery. Highly recommended because it depicts a black man who was an astronomer, mathematician and the author of the first almanac published by a black man.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Benjamin Banneker, the eighteenth century astronomer, mathematician, and almanac writer, was also an outspoken critic of the standards of the day. Banneker, a free black man, faced stigma with the same clarity as he charted the heavens, writing directly to Thomas Jefferson to question the integrity of the new country. Andrea's writing paints a full picture of a man who keenly observed the land and heavens, and searched for the truth in both science and in life. Brian's scratchboard illustrations depict the man and his time.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This look at the life and times of the 18th-century black scientist is accompanied by Brian Pinkney's full-page masterful and luminous scratchboard/ oil paintings. Andrea Pinkney provides a basic outline of her subject's youth and years as a tobacco farmer, his passion for learning and interest in astronomy, and his decision to write an almanac. She focuses the account on an exchange of letters in 1791, when Banneker sent a copy of his newly printed almanac to Thomas Jefferson, then U.S. Secretary of State, and chastised him for keeping slaves. The reply sounds like a polite brush-off, and Jefferson made no acknowledgement of the dichotomy between his Declaration of Independence and his ownership of slaves. The quoting of these letters in the prose of the time forces the inclusion of vocabulary and syntax several levels above that of the audience for which the book seems intended. Although the bare-bones details are here, he does not come alive; while the art is lovely, the text offers just a glimpse at this remarkable man's accomplishments. The author states that the publishing of Banneker's almanac ``showed everybody that indeed all men are created equal.'' Since the almanac reached a limited audience, one wonders how many people at the time even knew who Banneker was, or about his ethnic background. Although the book is more accessible to younger readers than Jeri Ferris's What Are You Figuring Now? (Carolrhoda, 1988), it may not hold their attention.-Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152018924
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
730,041
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.12(d)
Lexile:
AD1100L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A nice introduction to a very important person in American history."—American Bookseller

Meet the Author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times best-selling author of several books for young readers, including the novel Bird in a Box, a Today Show Al Roker Book Club for Kids pick, and Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Additional works include the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor book Duke Ellington, illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney; and Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Honor book and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award. Andrea Davis Pinkney lives in New York City.

BRIAN PINKNEY is a celebrated picture-book illustrator who has won two Caldecott Honors. His many professional tributes also include the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors. He has collaborated with his wife, author Andrea Davis Pinkney, on several picture books including Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra and Sleeping Cutie. The Pinkneys live in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >