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Be Entertained, Be Inspired: Best Biographies!

Who Was Harvey Milk book cover

Even though school is out, learning doesn’t have to take a vacation!  Why not use some of your free time this summer to look at the world through someone else’s eyes?  There are so many wonderful biographies in our library collection, including the great choices listed below, which will make educating yourself fun and informative!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Dots book title

Six Dots: a Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant (1st - 4th gr.)

BIOGRAPHY BRAILLE B

When Louis Braille was a young child, he was in an accident that resulted in him losing his sight.  While adjusting to this new challenge, one of the things he missed was the ability to pick up a book whenever he wanted and read, read, read! Being clever and inventive, at age 15, he came up with a new reading and writing system that blind people or those with vision issues still use today -- 200 years later!

 

 

 

World is Not a Rectangle book cover


 The World is Not a Triangle: a Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter (1st - 5th gr.)

BIOGRAPHY HADID W

Zaha Hadid has never been one to allow others to put her in a box, or tell her who she should be, or how she should do things.  Always observant, creative, and innovative, this Iranian architect has impressed the world with her unique style and vision, making her mark through amazing structural designs that can be seen all over the world.

 

 

Noisy Paint Box book cover

Noisy Paint Box: the Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art  by Barb Rosenstock (1st- 4th gr.)

BIOGRAPHY KANDINSKY R

This biography serves as an interesting introduction to a world-famous artist, and a relatively uncommon genetic condition called synesthesia.  This combination works together perfectly to make for an absorbing biography of a man whose art was influenced by his reactions to experiencing colors as sounds and vice versa.

 

 

Boy Who Became a Dragon book cover

The Boy Who Became a Dragon: a Bruce Lee Story  by Jim Di Bartolo (4th gr. & up)

BIOGRAPHY LEE D

Bruce Lee was a legend.  He was an incomparable martial artist, an international film star, and a man who overcame much adversity during his formative years.  This graphic novel style biography tells his story in a vibrant, exciting manner which parallels his interesting life.  This should have vast appeal, so give it a read!

 

 

 

Wilma's Way Home book cover

Wilma’s Way Home: the Life of Wilma Mankiller  by Doreen Rappaport (1st- 5th gr.)

BIOGRAPHY MANKILLER R

As a child, Wilma Mankiller found such joy in the rich heritage and community of her Cherokee people -- until the federal government instituted the Relocation Act that removed her and her family from their home and way of life.  That formative experience eventually led her into activism, and her determination to rebuild her community, a goal which resulted in her becoming the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation.

 

 

Who Was Harvey Milk book cover

Who Was Harvey Milk? by Corinne Grinapol (4th gr. & up)

BIOGRAPHY MILK G

Harvey Milk didn’t start his life looking to make history, but when he was faced with prejudice and harassment just for being gay, he knew that he had to make his voice heard, and take a lead when it came to fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights. The perfect read for Pride Month . . . or any other time of year! This book is part of the immensely popular “Who Was…?” biography series!

 

 

 

Turning Pages book cover

Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor (3rd gr. & up)

BIOGRAPHY SOTOMAYOR S

Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, is such an inspiring person! In her picture book autobiography, she talks about her childhood and how books gave her the encouragement to go after her dreams.  Want more from this amazing woman?  I’d also highly recommend her picture book Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You!

 

 

 

Brown Girl Dreaming book cover

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (4th gr. & up)

BIOGRAPHY WOODSON W

Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson grew up at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and her experiences, told in lyrical verse poems, will grab readers’ attention right away.  This is a must read for middle schoolers, and will hopefully lead them to discover Woodson’s breathtaking fictional works as well. (Harbor Me and Each Kindness are personal favorites!)

 

 

 

Emmanuel's Dream book jacket

 Emmanuel’s Dream: the True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson (Kindergarten- 2nd grade)

BIOGRAPHY YEBOAH T

“Being disabled does not mean being unable.”  Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah might have been born without the use of his left leg, but thanks to his mother, he learned early on that this challenge was not something that should stop him from dreaming big.  Dreams of an education? Dreams of playing soccer and cycling? Dreams of supporting his family from a young age? Dreams of becoming an activist and making people see that everyone has value? He achieved it all!

 

 

 

 

Published by on July 01, 2021
Last Modified July 04, 2022