What Are You Figuring Now?

A Story about Benjamin Banneker

From the Series Creative Minds Biographies

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

In 1791 plans for the new capital city, Washington, D.C., were in the works, but someone was needed to help with the surveying. Thomas Jefferson recommended Benjamin Banneker for the job. Banneker was a free black man who lived at a time when black Americans had few, if any, rights. Yet he was an accomplished farmer, mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor. What Are You Figuring Now? is the story of a man who was never afraid to try something new, no matter how difficult.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 5
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity
Copyright 1988
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint LernerClassroom, Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 1988-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 5.2
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007020, JNF007090, JNF007050
Dewey 520.92'4
Graphics 1-color illustrations
Dimensions 5.875 x 8.5
Lexile 910
Guided Reading Level R
ATOS Reading Level 5.6
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 4376
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Maps, Reviewed, Table of contents, and Teaching Guides


  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, Winner, 1988



“. . .smooth engaging biographical story; the mature, style and sucinct text make this a good choice for reluctant readers.”

Kirkus Reviews

“. . .welcome for its usefulness as well as for its entertaining, straightforward presentation.”
Kirkus Reviews

Science and Children

“An easy-to-read story. . .”
Science and Children

Author: Jeri Ferris

Illustrator: Amy Johnson

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Creative Minds Biographies

Meet some of the world’s most creative minds! Written in story format, these episodic biographies give clear, straightforward accounts of historical figures’ lives. Each true story is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. View available downloads →