Heidi's Reviews > They Stood Alone!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference

They Stood Alone! by Sandra McLeod Humphrey
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's review
Jul 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: middle-grade-nonfiction, children-s-biography
Read in June, 2012

There are a growing number of biographies written for children, generally of well-known men and women who've left their mark on the world, for better or worse. Writing biographies for children is challenging because you want to provide enough information so the reader can come to know the subject, but sometimes there are things in the subjects life that aren't really appropriate to share with children. Humphrey does a very nice job of being honest about her subjects without cramming in too much information.

I especially appreciated the way she opened each chapter with a quick 'Imagine this' scenario about the subject, without actually naming the person. This is a feature that I plan on using with my fifth grade students. It's a way to get the child reader thinking about the person as a living human being rather than a famous person. The writing is perfect for sharing, not once did I have to go back and say, 'huh' what does that mean. Child readers could read this very easily and get a good picture of the life and times of each person. I also appreciated that the author did not ignore her subjects weaknesses. None of these people were perfect and all of them made mistakes just like the rest of humankind.

I also appreciated the fact that the author included people from all over the world from a variety of backgrounds and a variety of cultures, some familiar and some not so familiar. Both women and men are included. I recommend this as a valuable introduction to the biographical format as well as a nice introduction to 25 people who through courage and persistence left a strong legacy.
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