Biography

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Grade levels are suggested, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level. Under each grade is a link for even more titles, or you can try our May We Suggest service for more recommendations.

Kindergarten

Before she was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Also available in: video | e-video

A lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman honors the woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life, discussing her roles as a slave, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a nurse, a Union spy, and a suffragist.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Sixth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Also available in: e-audiobook

At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball, and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Also available in: e-audiobook

An account of the life of the famous physicist describes how, as a young genius growing up in the home of an apothecary, he read everything he could, built handmade machines, and performed chemical experiments that seemed magical.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

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.

Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse backgrounds--black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and more--who helped lead the fight for suffrage? 

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Fourth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

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

A biography of librarian Mary Lemist Titcomb describes her concern that the library was not reaching as many people as it could she devised the first bookmobile.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Third Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

John Roy Lynch spent most of his childhood as a slave in Mississippi, but all of that changed with the Emancipation Proclamation. Suddenly people like John Roy could have paying jobs and attend school. While many people in the South were unhappy with the social change, John Roy thrived in the new era.

The story of Black Elk brings to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help people understand their place in the circle of life.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Second Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie De Paola

Tomie dePaola's stories from the momentous year his family built their new house at 26 Fairmount Avenue highlight his wit, sense of humor, and strong family bonds. Continue the memoir with the rest of the 26 Fairmount Avenue series.

Recounts the life and accomplishments of Belva Lockwood, the first woman to practice law before the Supreme Court and to officially run for the presidency of the United States in 1884 and 1888.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for First Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Learn about the pioneer of children's books--John Newbery himself. Most children's books in the 18th century contained lessons and rules, but Newbery imagined them with entertaining stories and games. He believed that every book should be made for the reader's enjoyment. 

Celebrating the inventor of the Crayola crayon! This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world's most beloved toys.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Kindergarten, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Aretha Franklin by Ma Isabel (María Isabel) Sánchez Vegara

Discover the life of Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul. The fourth of five children, Aretha was born in Tennessee and took the stage at an early age in her fathers church choir. She went on to become the bestselling rhythm and blues singer of all time, and the first woman to be installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Tells the story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, the man who first invented the helium balloons that have become the trademark of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Check out these new titles recently added to the Library's Biography shelves.

Grand : a memoir by 1978- Sara Carole Schaefer
Memorial Drive : a daughter's memoir by 1966- Natasha D. Trethewey

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