National Geographic Kids Early Reader Biographies: George Washington Carver & Sonia Sotomayor



Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!


George Washington Carver
Author: Kitson Jazynka
Published January 12th, 2016 by National Geographic Children’s Books

Summary: Take a bite into the fascinating history of peanut butter and the man who invented it. Through leveled text and engaging photos, kids meet George Washington Carver and learn about his important work with peanuts and other plants. This Level 1 reader is carefully leveled for an early independent reading or read aloud experience, perfect to encourage the scientists and explorers of tomorrow!

Discussion Questions: Why did Carver have to move when he was 13?; What events in Carver’s life helped him become the first black student at Iowa State and eventually a professor?; What inventions did Carver discover?

We Flagged: “In Carver’s time, life was hard for many black people in the United States. They did not have the same rights as white people.

Carver felt that this was wrong. He used his ideas about farming to help change people’s lives.” (p. 7)

NG - Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor
Author: Barbara Kramer
Published January 12th, 2016 by National Geographic Children’s Books

Summary: Explore one of the most recognized names in modern America with this biography of Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor. Kids will learn about her rise to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice and the trials she faced along the way. The level 3 text provides accessible, yet wide-ranging, information for independent readers.

Discussion Questions: What traits does Sotomayor have that helped her succeed in education to eventually become a Supreme Court justice?; Sotomayor has not forgotten where she comes from. In what ways does she give to her childhood community?; What did Sotomayor do that was so extraordinary?

We Flagged: “In August 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became a Super Court justice. It is a special job. Sotomayor is the 111th person ever to receive that honor. She is the third woman and the first Hispanic justice to serve on that court.” (p. 4)

My Review: These texts are such a wonderful way to introduce readers to some very important people in history. The books don’t back down from hard subjects like racism and poverty, but instead teach the reader about it in an easy to understand way. And to help the reader even more, throughout the books, any tough words are defined, sidebars are filled with additional information, and text features such as illustrations, graphs, and timelines elaborate on the story.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: These books could be used in many different ways including guided reading during a teacher-led small group or as biography lit circles.

Read These If You Love: Biographies

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall litcirclesbuttonsmall

Kellee Signature

**Thank you to Karen from Media Masters for providing copies for review!**

1 thought on “National Geographic Kids Early Reader Biographies: George Washington Carver & Sonia Sotomayor”

  1. I would still like to read that biography out about Sonia Sotomayor, and this is great that there’s one available for students. Thanks for the review of both, Kellee.


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