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New Books on the Biography Shelf

Born with teeth: a memoir by Kate Mulgrew

It's a long story: my life by Willie Nelson with David Ritz

Jonas Salk: a life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

On the move: a life by Oliver Sacks

The Wright brothers by David McCullough

Biography Suggestions for Fifth Grade

Looking for a good story? Try one of these about real people. Suggestions are geared to fifth grade, but may be of interest to everyone.

Tom Thumb: the remarkable true story of a man in miniature by George Sullivan

Temple Grandin: how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world by Sy Montgomery

Mythmaker: the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of The hobbit and The lord of the rings by Anne E. Neimark

Josephine: the dazzling life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; pictures by Christian Robinson

The Emily sonnets: the life of Emily Dickinson by Jane Yolen; illustrations by Gary Kelley

Biographies for Fourth Graders

Looking for true stories about real people? Try some of these. Suggestions are geared toward fourth graders, but may appeal to everyone.

Vincent van Gogh and the colors of the wind by text by Chiara Lossani; illustrations by Octavia Monaco

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr; paintings by Ronald Himler

Chuck Close: face book by Chuck Close

A stranger at home: a true story by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton; artwork by Liz Amini- Holmes -- The continuing story of Olemaun, which was begun in Fatty Legs.

The pilot and The little prince: the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis -- If you're interested in reading the classic story of The Little Prince, look in JFICTION SAINT-EXUPERY.

National Poetry Month Biographies

Celebrate National Poetry Month by getting to know more about the lives of some of our greatest poets:

Longfellow: a rediscovered life by Charles C. Calhoun

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

Dylan Thomas: a new life by Andrew Lycett

From noon to starry night: a life of Walt Whitman by Philip Callow

Rough magic: a biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander

Dante by R.W.B. Lewis

Children's Biographies for Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, read the fascinating true stories of some of the many women who have shaped our world.

I am Malala: how one girl stood up for education and changed the world by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause. --Provided by publisher.

Bon appétit!: the delicious life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland
Follow Julia Child-chef, author, and television personality-from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes she took in Paris, to publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the funny moments of being a chef on TV. -- Provided by publisher.

Biographies for Third Graders

Looking for true stories about real people? Try some of these. Suggestions are geared toward third graders, but may appeal to everyone.

The house Baba built: an artist's childhood in China by Ed Young, text as told to Libby Koponen

Queen of the track: Alice Coachman: Olympic high-jump champion by Heather Lang; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

The mad potter: George E. Ohr, eccentric genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan

Mary Walker wears the pants: the true story of the doctor, reformer, and Civil War hero by Cheryl Harness; illustrated by Carlo Molinari

Shackleton's journey by William Grill

Picture Books for Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate, try one of these great picture books with positive stories featuring strong female characters. 

Dancing in the wings by Debbie Allen ; pictures by Kadir Nelson
Sassy tries out for a summer dance festival in Washington, D.C., despite the other girls' taunts that she is much too tall.

The dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher's encouragement leads her to change her mind.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women Throughout History

Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:

Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist

Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Anna of all the Russias: the life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein — Anna Akhmatova, Influential Russian poet

New Books on the Biography Shelf

Van Gogh: a power seething by Julian Bell

Russian tattoo: a memoir by Elena Gorokhova

De Niro: a life by Shawn Levy

Rumours of glory: a memoir by Bruce Cockburn and Greg King

Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul

The undertaker's daughter by Kate Mayfield

African American Children's Biographies

February is National African American History Month, and we've put together a series of suggestions for children's reading materials. The library has an assortment of biographies featuring African Americans throughout history. Several of these titles have been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciate of African American culture and universal human values.

NOTE: Children read at different levels at different times in their lives. It is up to the child and their parent to determine which of these suggestions are appropriate for them.

Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Recognized with the National Book and Coretta Scott King Author Awards among other honors, this poetic autobiography of an award winning author takes us back in time to the 1960s and 1970s.

Assignment: Autobiography

True stories of real people can be fascinating, even more so when told in their own voice. Enjoy a selection of autobiographies.

Believe: the victorious story of Eric LeGrand by Eric LeGrand with Mike Yorkey

Cheaper by the dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Code name Pauline: memoirs of a World War II special agent by Pearl Witherington Cornioley with Hervé Larroque ; edited by Kathryn J. Atwood

Biographies for Black History Month

The butler: a witness to history by Wil Haygood

The rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis

Crusader for justice: federal judge Damon J. Keith by compiled, written, and edited by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman ; forward by Mitch Albom

Dave Bing: a life of challenge by Drew Sharp

A gentleman of color: the life of James Forten by Julie Winch

Twelve years a slave by Solomon Northup ; introduction by Ira Berlin ; general editor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; foreword by Steve McQueen