Dear Benjamin Banneker

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9780152018924: Dear Benjamin Banneker

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.

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About 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.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 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
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Benjamin Banneker was born free when most blacks in this country were still enslaved. But it troubled him that not all blacks were free. An accomplished astronomer and mathematician, he decided to take a stand against slavery by writing to then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. This is the story of their extraordinary correspondence. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780152018924

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Benjamin Banneker was born free when most blacks in this country were still enslaved. But it troubled him that not all blacks were free. An accomplished astronomer and mathematician, he decided to take a stand against slavery by writing to then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. This is the story of their extraordinary correspondence. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780152018924

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