Biographies about All Sorts of People


The books this week are all about the lives of people. I tried to include all kinds of people doing a variety of things. Although most biographies are found in the library with the call number of 92, followed by the person’s name, some are in other sections. Note: If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you might recognize these books from 2 summers ago—they are still good!


 Amelia Earhart: Free in the Skies by Robert Burleigh

Amelia Earhart was one of the first women airplane pilots. She became world famous for her long and daring flights. This graphic novel is a great read.


 The Wild Boy by Mordicai Gerstein

This is the true story of a boy who was found long ago by hunters in the mountains of southern France. He was alone and lived like a wild animal. He went to live with a doctor and learned, little by little, how to live with others.


 Derek Jeter by Mike Kennedy

I’m a big fan of Derek Jeter. I admire his playing and his leadership skills of his team. This book gives lots of information about him and its format encourages you to read on.


 Mother to Tigers by George Ella Lyon, illustrations by Peter Catalanotto

Helen Martini started out by caring for a lion cub in her New York City apartment. After this, she cared for other wild animals. In 1944, she created the first animal nursery in the Bronx Zoo. This is her story, beautifully told, with outstanding illustrations.


 Levi Strauss and Blue Jeans  by Nathan Olson, illustrated by Dave Hoover, Keith Williams and Charles Barnett III

We all wear jeans but have you ever thought about when jeans were invented? The first jeans were invented by Levi Strauss back in the mid-1800’s. This is a graphic novel and is part of the Inventions and Discoveries series.


 Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Son of Hope by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Based on Obama’s memoir, Dreams of my Father, this book was a New York Times bestseller. Teamed with wonderful pictures, it’s the story of Obama’s beginnings as a child of divorce and his drive to make a difference.


 Mary Anning, Fossil Hunter by Sally M. Walker, illustrations by Phyllis V. Saroff

Born in 1799, Mary Anning lived in a time when women had very few opportunities. Although she was a skilled fossil hunter, the scientists of her time didn’t want to believe it. She discovered many of the best and most complete fossils in England. This is part of the On My Own Biography series. Note to parents: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is a historical novel based on Anning’s life – I loved it.


 Benjamin Banneker: Pioneering Scientist by Ginger Wadsworth, illustrations by Craig Orback

Benjamin Banneker was born in 1737. Although most black persons in America back then were slaves, his parents were free. Banneker loved to learn and he used his knowledge and observations to build a wooden clock, write an almanac and help survey the streets of the new capital, Washington, D.C. This is part of the On My Own Biography series.

 Music for the End of Time by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Beth Peck

Olivier Messiaen was a French composer who was sent to a German prison camp in World War II. His life there was very grim until a guard gave him a room in which he could write music for several hours a day. This is his story while he was in prison.


Margaret Knight: Girl Inventor by Marlene Targ Brill, illustrated by Joanne Friar (sorry, no link)

In the mid-1800s, children were often sent to work in factories. These factories were dangerous places to work with kids frequently getting hurt of killed. Ten-year-old Mary Knight invented a way to make one of the machines safer.


 Shaun White: Snowboard and Skateboard Champion by Marty Gitlin

There’s a lot to admire about Shaun White. He was born with a heart problem which gave him a rough start. In spite of this, he learned to snowboard when he was four. By the time he was nine he was winning every snowboarding event in his age group. This book follows Shaun White’s successes at both snowboarding and skateboarding, including winning at the 2006 Winter Olympics. It’s part of the Celebrity Biographies series.


I hope this list gets you interested in reading biographies. Go to the biography section of your library, J 92, and see what they have that interest you. Write about your favorites in the Comments box!


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