No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas

Author: Tonya Bolden

Illustrator: Don Tate

Published: Oct, 2018

Publisher: Knopf

Junius G. Groves came from humble beginnings in the Bluegrass State. Born in Kentucky into slavery, freedom came when he was still a young man and he intended to make a name for himself. Along with thousands of other African Americans who migrated from the South, Junius walked west and stopped in Kansas. Working for a pittance on a small potato farm was no reason to feel sorry for himself, especially when he’s made foreman. But Junius did dream of owning his own farm, so he did the next best thing. He rented the land and worked hard! As he built his empire, he also built a family, and he built them both on tons and tons and tons of potatoes. He never quit working hard, even as the naysayers doubted him, and soon he was declared Potato King of the World and had five hundred acres and a castle to call his own..




“The mixed-media illustrations, awash in blues, greens, and browns, successfully represent the expansiveness of the land and the momentous nature of Groves’ accomplishments. A glossary, a timeline, and other helpful backmatter make this an excellent research resource for teachers and students alike. . . . This a-peel-ing story will give readers a new appreciation for spuds. 
***Starred Review***



“Dynamo book creators come together to tell a long overdue story . . . Far more than a tale of tubers, this is an inspiring account of hard work and a

wonderful picture-book biography of a self-made farmer.



 Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2018