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True Stories of Amazing People

Our JBIO collection features a wide variety of great stories about real people. These subjects might be well-known, or relatively ordinary. They might be extroverted and exuberant or shy and passionate. Maybe the people in these tales look just like you, or maybe they're like no one you know. Meet someone new in 2017 by checking out some of the following biographies. The list begins with books for younger readers and ends with more advanced titles, but each story might hold wider appeal than its first impression.

A biography of the scientist known as the "Shark Lady," reveals how she turned a childhood passion into her life's work, devoting herself to studying sharks and educating the public on the graceful, clever sea creatures.

Recounts the life and accomplishments of the environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Also available in: video | e-video

A picture book biography of mathematician Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, by the award-winning author/illustrator Fiona Robinson.

This story imagines what it was like when Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass got together for a cup of tea and discussed their struggle for civil rights.

Traces the achievements of the celebrated Supreme Court justice through the lens of her many famous acts of civil disagreement against inequality, unfair treatment, and human rights injustice.

The story of Malala Yousafzai, an education and women's rights activist.

Presents the life of the scientist responsible for the first map of the ocean floor, describing her experiences with sexism and her pioneering work which led to the confirmation of the theory of continental drift.

Maya Angelou by Lisbeth Kaiser

Offers an illustrated telling of the life of Maya Angelou that focuses on how she overcame childhood trauma and realized her dream and became one of the world's most beloved writers and speakers.

Details the life and accomplishments of Mary Garber, the first woman to win the APSE award and inducted into the Hall of Fame of National Sportcasters and Sportswriters Association.

Mae Jemison by Laurie Calkhoven

A biography of Mae Jemison, the first female African-American astronaut.

Misty Copeland is one of the most famous dancers in the world. But before she was dancing for millions of fans, Misty was just a young girl who loved ballet, even though she didn't look like the typical ballerina. Learn how she made it all the way to the top in this exciting biography.

Traces the life of Fannie Sellins, a union activist who traveled the nation promoting fair wages and decent working and living conditions for workers in the garment and mining industries.

Introduces Suzy Wright, a Quaker who helped settle the Pennsylvania frontier, defended the rights of Native Americans, and provided legal counsel to her neighbors.

Shares the story of an Iraqi librarian who saved thirty thousand library books when war broke out in the city of Basra.

Presents an account of E.B. White's life and career through personal letters, photographs, family ephemera, and Sweet's original artwork, while offering glimpses into the origins of his iconic stories.

Also available in: video | e-video

Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.

A biography fon Florence Nightingale, the pioneering nurse best known for her work during the Crimean War, where she rectified horrifying conditions and made nightly rounds to check on patients, saving hundreds of lives and sparking worldwide healthcare reform.

Details the story of a young Inuit woman who, in 1921, learned to survive alone on isolated Wrangel Island by trapping foxes, catching seals, and avoiding polar bears, and who became a celebrity after finally being rescued two years later.

Also available in: e-book

A biography of Nellie Bly, the pioneering journalist whose showy but substantive stunts skyrocketed her to fame.

The true story of the White Rose, a group of students in Nazi Germany who were active undercover agents of the resistance movement against Hitler and his regime.

Biographical sketches chronicle the contributions of enslaved and free blacks during the Revolutionary War, including Prince Hall, who organized the first branch of black Freemasons, and Richard Allen, who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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