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Themes, Topics & Categories > Favorite Biographies

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I am looking for a list of great biographies, preferably picture books that would be enjoyed by kids of about 7-9 years of age. I know there is a topic devoted to inventors and one on biographies about art, so I'll check those threads but I'd love to know of biographies that members have read that were interesting, informative, well-written and will capture children's interest... Here are a few that I know of already. Other ideas?
The Boy on Fairfield Street about Dr. Seuss
Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci
David Adler has a series of "Picture Book Biographies"
George Washington Carver

I know there are others that I have read and enjoyed that I'll add later. Any others that anyone else loves? The one about Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites. :)

message 2: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments My third graders lovedSnowflake Bentley

message 3: by Steven (new)

Steven Stickler | 11 comments I'd add another by Kathryn Lasky: One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures Of Charles Darwin.

Also, the "Who was....?" series is pretty decent for that age group:
Who Was George Washington?

I'll need to check out that 'You Wouldn't Want to' series--somehow we missed that one.

message 4: by Manybooks (last edited Feb 16, 2012 10:23AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
This is a wonderful biography of Helen Keller's teacher, Annie Sullivan (a bit advanced for 7 to 9 year olds, but it might work for really advanced readers, or perhaps for a teacher reading to the students), Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller.

And a rather advanced picture book biography about one of the first African American millionaires, actually one of the first women who was able to become a business success, Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker.

message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine | 36 comments Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller is catalogued as fiction.

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Christine wrote: "Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller is catalogued as fiction."

Yes, it is historical fiction.

message 7: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Just this week we read Lance Armstrong: The Race of His LifeI It was really inspiring and as a bonus it is written by his former wife Kristin Armstrong

message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Feb 17, 2012 01:33PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
I loved the Jean Fritz biographies of the Founding Fathers, like Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? and What's The Big Idea, Ben Franklin?.

Some others (also all picture books) I've read more recently and enjoyed:

Just Being Audrey (Audrey Hepburn)

Tillie the Terrible Swede

The Dinosaurs Of Waterhouse Hawkins

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History!

Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon

Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis

And, yes, do check out the Picture Book Club threads for Black History Month, Outstanding Women, Latino Books Month and Inventors--some great biographies listed there. I'm going to check out that Dr. Seuss book you loved! :-)

message 9: by Manybooks (last edited Feb 17, 2012 09:22AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
The Man Who Made Parks: The Story of Parkbuilder Frederick Law Olmstead (really enjoyed this book, only drawback is the lack of a detailed author's note)

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Lucy Maud Montgomery (with a caveat that I did not particularly enjoy the illustrations and that some of the information presented seemed to somewhat trivialise the more problematic aspects of L.M. Montgomery's life, but still a very good introduction to Montgomery's life and work).

Another wonderful picture book from Shirin Yim Bridges is Ruby's Wish, which is the story of her own grandmother, not a straight biography, but still a very beautiful and uplifting biographical story.

And most definitely, Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (this was just spectacular)

Another picture book that is not a straight biography again, but a fictionalised account of an episode in Challenger astronaut Ron McNair's childhood is Ron's Big Mission (there is a very good author's note and the story, although fictionalised, did occur and is important to share with students, that at one time, African Americans did not have the right to have their own library cards).

Enough for now (I will post more once I have gone through my bookshelves, I know have more suggestions).

message 10: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Hooray! Thanks for all the suggestions so far. :)

message 11: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I read On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein today and felt it was well worth reading. My review: A wonderful intro to Einstein's life. My 6 and 10 year old were fascinated and had many questions. This didn't delve too deep but focussed especially on Einstein's questioning and imagining and thinking...things today's children can also engage in. Does contain an author's note with a little more information as well as some other recommended titles to learn more. Wonderful!

message 12: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Viva Frida. We read this about a week ago. I loved the illustrations but I didn't feel there was enough meat to the text..l was left really wanting more, even after reading the author's note.

message 14: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 21, 2015 06:52PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2243 comments Mod
Lots of good suggestions above.
Some recently published picture book biographies that have received glowing reviews:
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art
Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud (story about a woman in the 1800s who was the navigator on her husband's clipper ship; and by whose efforts, they were able to break the record in sailing from New York to San Francisco by way of Cape Horn.)
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

message 15: by Manybooks (last edited Jul 23, 2017 01:45PM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Here is new favourite for me, Dorothea's Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth, highly recommend.

message 16: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I just read I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark and thought it was wonderful! So many things to recommend it (great author's note and bibliography, interesting facts, a variety of synonyms for disagreeing, fascinating information about Ginsburg, and more).

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