Children's Biographies

View all Best Recommendations for Kids book lists; This list was last updated on 6/4/2013
Send to My Email      
Most young readers like real stories, therefore most books about social or history topics do not appeal to them.  It takes a lot of writing skills to make the history come alive for young people. This selection of biography books whose subjects pop off the page and into the reader's imagination. Hope some of these books will fascinate young people and help them better understand some of the most important figures in our history.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

Share
   
1 - 17 of 17 results
release date: Mar 01, 2012
Check price
The Dreamer
Winner of the 2011 Pure Belpre Award for fiction now in an elegant paperback edition!

From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a mysterious voice. He knows he must follow it--even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself. It leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, until finally, he discovers its source.

Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.
release date: Apr 22, 2002
Check price
The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler
Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this Sibert Medal-winning biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this façade and presents a picture of a complex person—at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man.

In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitler's life from 1889 to 1945: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visual accompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world. Author's note, bibliography, index.
Check price
Queen of the Falls
Annie Taylor, a short, plump and fussy sixty-two year old widow, runs a charm school, right by Niagara Falls. When this starts to fail, she resolves to find fame and fortune by being the first person to ever to go over the thundering waters of Niagara Falls in a barrel. Readers of all ages will warm to this inspiring story of bravery, as they take the roller coaster ride of a lifetime over the falls.
Something Out of Nothing

Marie Curie's story has fascinated and inspired young readers
decades. The poor Polish girl who worked eight years to be able
to afford to attend the Sorbonne in Paris became one of the
most important scientists of her day, winning not one but two
Nobel Prizes. Her life is a fascinating one, filled with hard work,
humanitarianism, and tragedy. Her work with her husband,
Pierre – the study of radioactivity and the discovery of the
elements radium and polonium – changed science forever. But
she is less well known for her selfless efforts during World War
to establish mobile X-ray units so that wounded French soldiers
could get better care faster. When she stood to profit greatly
from her scientific work, she chose not to, making her methods
and findings known and available to all of science. As a result,
this famous woman spent most of her life in need of money,
often to buy the very elements she discovered.

Marie Curie's life and work are given a fresh telling, one that
also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world
culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.

Check price
Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as much for his wit and rollicking humor as for his height. This Newbery Medal-winning biography of our Civil War president is warm, appealing, and illustrated with dozens of carefully chosen photographs and prints.

Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book's final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites.

This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read Aloud Informational Text).

release date: Feb 03, 2009
Check price
Anne Frank
'In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart'. Born in the shadow of war and forced into hiding for more than two years, Anne Frank could still fill her beloved diary with heart and hope. This insightful biography will enrich the experience of reading "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl", which remains one of the most read and taught books for young people. It also provides additional information about her family, childhood and fate; features quotes from people who knew and cared for her and gives historical background on World War II.
Check price
Starry Messenger

"If they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge." -- Galileo Galilei

In every age there are courageous people who break with tradition to explore new ideas and challenge accepted truths. Galileo Galilei was just such a man--a genius--and the first to turn the telescope to the skies to map the heavens. In doing so, he offered objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe but that it and all the other planets revolved around the sun. Galileo kept careful notes and made beautiful drawings of all that he observed. Through his telescope he brought the starts down to earth for everyone to see.

By changing the way people saw the galaxy, Galileo was also changing the way they saw themselves and their place in the universe. This was very exciting, but to some to some it was deeply disturbing. Galileo has upset the harmonious view of heaven and earth that had been accepted since ancient times. He had turned the world upside down.

In this amazing new book, Peter Sís employs the artist's lens to give us an extraordinary view of the life of Galileo Galilei. Sís tells his story in language as simple as a fairy tale, in pictures as rich and tightly woven as a tapestry, and in Galileo's own words, written more than 350 years ago and still resonant with truth.

Starry Messenger is a 1997 Caldecott Honor Book.

release date: Jan 20, 2011
Check price
A Nation's Hope
On the eve of World War II, African American boxer Joe Louis fought German Max Schmeling in a bout that had more at stake than just the world heavyweight title; for much of America their fight came to represent America's war with Germany. This elegant and powerful picture book biography centers around the historic fight in which Black and White America were able to put aside prejudice and come together to celebrate our nation's ideals.
Check price
Salt in His Shoes
Michael Jordan.
The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he'd never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. That's when his mother and father stepped in and shared the invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion -- patience, determination, and hard work.
Deloris Jordan, mother of the basketball phenomenon, teams up with his sister Roslyn to tell this heartwarming and inspirational story that only the members of the Jordan family could tell. It's a tale about faith and hope and how any family working together can help a child make his or her dreams come true.
release date: Feb 22, 2011
Check price
Night Flight
Award-winning author Robert Burleigh has captured Amelia Earhart's first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932. She was only the second person to do this – and the first woman. Rich in detail, feeling and incident this is nonfiction with edge and action, a you-are-there experience made more dramatic and real by Wendell Minor's vivid paintings.
Check price
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
To us
it is just dirt,
the ground we walk on...
But to Dave
it was clay,
the plain and basic stuff
upon which he formed a life
as a slave nearly 200 years ago.


Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill's elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier's resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave's story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.
Check price
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

The story of a daring tightrope walk between skyscrapers, as seen in Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and--in two dramatic foldout spreads-- the vertiginous drama of Petit's feat.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal, the winner of the 2004 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Picture Books, and the winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video.

release date: Dec 28, 2009
Check price
Snowflake Bentley

"Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied." -- Wilson Bentley (1865-1931)

From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. Snowflake Bentley won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.

release date: Mar 08, 2011
Check price
All the Way to America
“This immigration story is universal.” —School Library Journal, Starred
 
Dan Yaccarino's great-grandfather arrived at Ellis Island with a small shovel and his parents' good advice: “Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family.” With simple text and warm, colorful illustrations, Yaccarino recounts how the little shovel was passed down through four generations of this Italian-American family—along with the good advice.
 
It's a story that will have kids asking their parents and grandparents: Where did we come from? How did our family make the journey all the way to America?
 
“A shovel is just a shovel, but in Dan Yaccarino's hands it becomes a way to dig deep into the past and honor all those who helped make us who we are.” —Eric Rohmann, winner of the Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit
 
All the Way to America is a charmer. Yaccarino's heartwarming story rings clearly with truth, good cheer, and love.” —Tomie dePaola, winner of a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona
release date: Apr 05, 2011
Check price
Me . . . Jane
In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of "a life living with and helping all animals," until one day she finds that her dream has come true.

One of the world's most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things.

With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall's autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young--and young at heart.
Check price
This Jazz Man
In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional "This Old Man" gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era's best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound "divine."
    
Easy on the ear and the eye, this playful introduction to nine jazz giants will teach children to count--and will give them every reason to get up and dance!
    
Includes a brief biography of each musician.
Check price
Across The Plains In 1844
Catherine Sager's story is among the most gripping firsthand accounts of life in the American west ever written. This enhanced version of her original manuscript adds explanatory notes, photos, maps, drawings, and 3d visualizations. The bonus material adds a layer of context to make Sager's fascinating account even more vivid.

Catherine Sager faced almost unimaginable hardship: both her parents died on the journey west on the Oregon Trail; a few years later her adoptive parents were brutally murdered before her eyes. She was even kidnapped and held for ransom. Yet Catherine was a survivor, and she lived a long life in Oregon. Her accounts of life on the Oregon Trail and the Whitman Massacre remain important historical documents. At the same time, she is an excellent writer who knows how to engage the reader.
1 - 17 of 17 results


  • Copyright © 2017 Link2Library Inc.