In the Garden with Dr. Carver

Sally is a young girl living in rural Alabama in the early 1900s, a time when people were struggling to grow food in soil that had been depleted by years of cotton production. One day, Dr. George Washington Carver shows up to help the grownups with their farms and the children with their school garden. He teaches them how to restore the soil and respect the balance of nature. He even prepares a delicious lunch made of plants, including “chicken” made from peanuts. And Sally never forgets the lessons this wise man leaves in her heart and mind. Susan Grigsby’s warm story shines new light on an African American scientist who was ahead of his time.

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807536308
  • September 2010

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807594339
  • September 2010

Other Places to Buy


  • Tadgell’s watercolors add both playful side business and accurate botanical illustration to this admiring child’s account of the famous scientist’s stopover in a rural community…Though fictionalized, the encounter presents Carver’s work and ideas in a simple, engaging way that will stay with young readers.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • In this charming historical-fiction picture book, a young girl relates an educational and inspirational visit by Dr. George Washington Carver to her Alabama town…this is an enjoyable, accessible, and informative introduction to Carver’s work and philosophies as well as gardening basics.

    - Booklist

  • The watercolor illustrations include many humorous asides of children acting like children—making horrified faces as they taste Dr. Carver’s menu of “chicken” made from peanuts and wild-weed salad, or being silly with friends when they are supposed to be listening. Scientific and historical information is well-presented through the gentle text and lighthearted illustrations. Teachers will find many uses for this appealing book.

    - School Library Journal

  • This is a great book to use to improve the love of science and nature. It also provides beautifully rendered pastel illustrations that capture the time period and essence of Dr. Carver’s work.

    - Library Media Connection

Awards & Accolades

  • A 2011 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
  • 2012-2013 Children's Crown Gallery Nominee
  • 2011 Growing Good Kids—Excellence in Children's Literature Award


Nicole Tadgell

Common Core

RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,10 RL.3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.80