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Summary: Phillis Wheatley, a young African girl brought to America during the mid-1700s, is placed with a family that nutures her natural abilities. Treated with kindness and taught to read and write, Phillis begins to write poetry about her life and times during the Revolutionary War and the people that affected her life. Phillis Wheatley is the first African American and the first slave to publish a book. This is a biographical history for middle readers.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 8 to 12
Reading Level: 4.8
Age of Child: Read by an 11-year-old child
Young Reader Reaction: Overall, the book was interesting. It dragged a little in places, but overall I really liked it.
Adult Reader Reaction: This was a good book. The text flowed well and the narrative was engaging. The biography was very interesting. Phillis Wheatley is not someone that you hear of frequently and would be a great role model for children. I really learned a great deal from this book regarding Phillis Wheatley and her tremendous contribution to the new America.
Pros: This is an engaging story that would inspire a middle reader to think about ways he/she could contribute to the world.
Borrow or Buy: Although this is good enough to buy, I would probably borrow, unless you wanted to start a biography library to pass down.
Educational Themes: The predominant educational theme is historical and social history. There are a few pieces of knowledge regarding the reasons for the Revolutionary War, but the book stays on task with offering a biography about the first African American poet.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - history, biography, middle grade series