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Revolutionary Poet (Creative Minds Biography) Hardcover – October 31, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-6. When Phillis Wheatley arrived in Boston as a slave girl in 1761, no one could imagine that she would go on to become an internationally known poet--and the first black American ever to publish a book. From her first days in the Wheatley household, Phillis was encouraged to learn to speak and read English, and, most importantly, to write. She soon began to compose poems--though, sadly, none of her poems is included here in full--and at the age of 17, only 10 years after her arrival in America, Phillis had begun publishing in the colony newspapers. Weidt's biography in the Creative Minds series provides excellent historical background, explaining in simple, well-written text the concept of slavery and the political conflicts leading up to the Revolutionary War. However, the fact that Wheatley's circumstances were extraordinary compared to the lives of most slaves at the time is not emphasized nor given proper context. Also, the author has a tendency to offer conjecture to compensate for gaps in the known details of Wheatley's life. But, overall, the biography provides a welcome introduction to her life and accomplishments. Bibliography. Shelle Rosenfeld

From Kirkus Reviews

Subtitled "A Story About Phillis Wheatley," this is a clear, straightforward account of the poet's life. Weidt (Daddy Played Music for the Cows, 1995, etc.) makes plain the facts: In September 1773, at the age of 20, Phillis Wheatley became the second American woman to publish a book--and the first African- American of either gender to do so. She had arrived in Boston 13 years earlier on the slave ship Phillis, a frail, sickly child who spoke no English. Wealthy Bostonian Susannah Wheatley bought her for her household, where, as Weidt explains, Phillis was better treated that most slaves of the time. While a few more examples of the poet's work would have been welcome, this biography gives middle-graders a solid introduction. Young's black-and-white illustrations enhance the text, showing many telling details of colonial life. (bibliography, index) (Biography. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Series: Creative Minds Biography
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (October 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575050374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575050379
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,917,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
When it comes to talking about poets, it helps to include some of their verses for the child to hear. This book is a great biography, but it leaves us high and dry by not printing the poems. One or two would be great, and especially in this case - Phyllis Wheatley was extraordinary because she mastered English so quickly and her poetry was high literature. Why not show it off to kids? It's not enough to say people were impressed with her work, or even that she wrote good poetry - let kids savor it!

In all other respects, this book does a great job telling the story of this amazing woman.
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By A Customer on March 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
When, I started reading this book..I was captivated by the power it held. As a parent I encourage my children to read this book. I would recommend this book as a family book, if you are teaching your children about Black History...and the power to be Free. LuzD
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