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Ten Unforgettable Biographies

A good biography helps children make discoveries about history, opens their minds to other perspectives, and teaches them that one person can make a difference. These recommended books just may inspire children to make their own mark on the world.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson

By: David Adler, Robert Casilla
Illustrated by: Robert Casilla
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A portrait of a true American sports hero, Jackie Robinson, who was the first African American to play on a major league baseball team.

America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle

By: David Adler, Terry Widener
Illustrated by: Terry Widener
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Trudy Ederle loved to swim and was determined to be the best. Through hard work and determination she became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

By: Diane Stanley, Peter Vennema
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A remarkably rounded picture of Shakespeare's life and the period in which he lived includes a thoughtful attempt to relate circumstances in his personal life to the content of his plays.

Carter G. Woodson: The Father of Black History

By: Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Edward Ostendorf
Illustrated by: Edward Ostendorf
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

With simplified vocabularies, large print, and plenty of illustrations, this book describes the life and accomplishments of Carter G. Woodson, the man who pioneered the study of African American history. This is one of five biographies in the Great African Americans Series.

Cleopatra

By: Diane Stanley, Peter Vennema
Illustrated by: Diane Stanley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A pictorial biography about love, war, culture and ambition shown through the story of Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt.

Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh

By: Robert Burleigh, Mike Wimmer
Illustrated by: Mike Wimmer
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Charles Lindbergh was only 25 years old when he made his historic non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Through Burleigh's vivid retelling and Wimmer's bold paintings, the reader soars with Lindbergh as he follows his dream.

Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man

By: David Adler, Terry Widener
Illustrated by: Terry Widener
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lou Gehrig played 2130 consecutive games for the Yankees (a record that stood until Cal Ripkin many years later). His story as a baseball great is told simply and with humility, reflecting the man himself. As his health deteriorated, Gehrig gave his farewell to a filled Yankee Stadium, declaring he was indeed the "luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs

By: James Rumford
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In 1802, when Champollion was eleven years old, he vowed to be the first person to read Egypt's ancient hieroglyphs. He faced great challenges over the next twenty years as he searched for the elusive key to the mysterious writing.

The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka'iulani

By: Fay Stanley, Diane Stanley
Illustrated by: Diane Stanley, Fay Stanley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hawai'i was once an independent country ruled by a royal family. But, while Princess Ka'iulani was at school in England in the 1800s, the small island nation became part of the United States — and she never got a chance to become queen. This intriguing, quiet, bittersweet story presents a little known period and a real-life princess. It is a well-told and handsome book was created by a mother-daughter team.

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