Carson’s story begins in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of eight with the departure of his father, leaving young Ben, his brother Curtis, and his mother to fend for themselves. Young Benjamin immediately began to notice changes in what once had been a financially stable family, and that his family would now be forced to struggle to get by. With only a third grade education Carson’s mother was forced to take on two, sometimes three jobs to provide for her two boys. Benjamin and his brother fell farther and farther behind in school; in fifth grade, Carson was at the bottom of his class. His classmates called him "dummy" and he developed a violent, uncontrollable temper.
When Mrs. Carson saw Benjamin's failing grades, she determined to turn her sons' lives around. She sharply limited the boys' television watching and refused to let them outside to play until they had finished their homework each day. She required them to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on their reading even though, with her own poor education, she could barely read what they had written.
A turning point in his life was when Carson astonished his classmates by identifying rock samples his teacher had brought to class. He recognized them from one of the books he had read. "It was at that moment that I realized I wasn't stupid," he recalled later. After he found this new source of confidence Ben developed a love for reading and a hunger for knowledge, he began to read... [continues]
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