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Book Excerpt: Young Fiction Excerpts: I Met A Great Man
© 1998 by Vivian Owens

I Met A Great Man

© 1998, by Vivian Owens. Eschar Publishing

For John Senegal, 1936 would forever be referred to as "the year my family fell apart." Like most 14 year-old boys, John wants his family, friends and school to be there for him. Instead, his mother puts him on a train for Alabama, headed away from Detroit, to live with Grandma and Grandpa Moss. Fortunately, on the train, he meets Dr. George Washington Carver who points him in a new direction, although new problems await him on Moss Farm.



“…each time I leaned out the window trying to catch the chorus of spirituals rising from the people working in the cotton fields.

‘Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt 's land. Tell Pharaoh to let my people go…'

I strained to listen. Rich voices, acappella sweet tunes. Lyric after lyric telling stories through hymns.

Beside me, the man who sat down more than twenty minutes ago, turned in his seat and began humming the melody of the fields…”

Meet A Character:


Making a living brought hard knocks to southern African Americans of the 1930's, but somehow people survived. Grandpa Moss and his wife endured many hardships to keep their family farm strong in rural Alabama. When John Senegal arrived, Grandpa hugged him over and over again. John was Grandpa's daughter's son.

Good natured and kind, this hardworking old man reached out to help his grandson. Unfortunately, Grandpa Moss grew fearful of losing the farm and losing John because crops stopped producing.

In this family story of survival and endurance, Grandpa Moss and his grandson, John, form a bond so close that nothing can rip them apart—not even the harsh problems facing them.

ISBN# 0-9623839-6-1 (soft cover)
Author, Vivian Owens
Young Fiction, Ages 8 and up

Please Note: This excerpt appears by special permission of the author and publisher and may not be presented elsewhere without permission of the copyright holders.
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Buy I Met a Great Man from Eschar Publications

About Eschar Publications

Eschar Publications publishes quality books with timeless appeal. Their books inspire, motivate and entertain. They believe that children and their parents are important and they offer our books as a help source in nurturing the academic needs of all children. To develop a fondness for reading, children need to believe they could be the characters they meet in books. For this reason, they introduced literary books focused on African American culture.

About the Author:

Vivian Owens wrote the book, NADANDA THE WORDMAKER, and it won a Writer’s Digest Best Book Award. She is the author of nine books.

With a writing career that overlapped her career as an educator, Vivian Owens received numerous awards or recognitions. Her newspaper articles have appeared in over 200 newspapers across the country, and her magazine articles have appeared in such publications as Upscale Magazine, About…Time Magazine, The Virginia Science Journal, and The Gifted Press Newsletter.

Best known for her “Parenting For Education” articles and workshops, Vivian Owens is the mother of three academically gifted children. In her work, she shares strategies of teaching and learning that have worked from her own personal experiences as a parent and as a classroom teacher who has obtained high performance results. At the heart of all her work is a determination to motivate children toward higher goals. For that reason she also creates youth literature that shines new cultural light into the whole realm of Children’s Literature.
Copyright 2004 The University of South Florida and The Africana Heritage Project. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. For more information, contact the Africana Heritage Project via e-mail.