School Library Journal (Elaine Lesh Morgan)
Maupin discusses the life of Banneker from his birth in 1731 to his death in 1806. She relates incidents from his childhood and describes his many achievements as a scientist, architect, mathematician, astronomer, and promoter of human equality. Andrea Pinkney’s picture book, Dear Benjamin Banneker (Gulliver, 1994) focuses on Banneker’s almanac and the events that led to his writing it. Jeri Ferris’s What Are You Figuring Now? (Carolrhoda, 1988) includes some fictionalization. Maupin’s accessible title mentions a Web site that included Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Banneker. Colin Powell was born to immigrant parents in 1937 and raised in New York City. In college, he joined ROTC, and over the years, rose steadily through the Army’s ranks. Both books are written in a straightforward manner; Banneker is enhanced by a variety of glossy black-and-white and full-color photographs of Powell at various stages of his life. Useful introductory titles for reports.
—Elaine Lesh Morgan
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