The books in this category tell the life stories of real people, some famous and others less well known. In many of these books the focus of the biography is the person's contribution to making a better world; in many there is also the theme of obstacles that had to be overcome in order for the person to succeed.
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All Books in the Biography Category
I Could Do That!: Ester Morris Gets Women the Vote Linda Arms White (Author), Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator) “I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that. With lively text and illustrations, this picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory -– the first time ever in the United States. [Grade Level: 2 - 4]
I Have a Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. (Author), Coretta Scott King (Author) This edition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream" speech is illustrated by fifteen recipients of the Coretta Scott King Award, which recognizes African American authors and illustrators. Signed statements from the artists explain the emotions they were tying to capture and why and how they used certain colors and tones. This book evokes the sound of King's voice as it was captured on that historic August day in 1963. [Grade Level: 1 & Up]
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks Written by Faith Ringgold A contemporary schoolgirl boards the bus on which Rosa Parks rode in 1955, and the bus tells the girl about Rosa's story, from growing up with the constant threat of a Ku Klux Klan attack to her act of passive resistance against the segregation of bus passengers. [Grade Level: K - 3]
John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement James Haskins (Author), Kathleen Benson (Author), Benny Andrews (Illustrator) This illustrated biography celebrates the life of a living legend of U.S. history, a sharecropper’s son who grew up to become a major civil rights leader. Stirred by his experience of segregation and inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis joined Dr. King and other civil rights leaders after graduating high school, and was in the forefront of the major civil rights protests of the 1960s. In the face of physical attacks, he persevered with dignity and a devotion to nonviolence, helping southern black people gain the right to vote. Lewis has continued his commitment to human rights since that time and, in 1986, he was elected to represent Georgia in the U.S. Congress, where he continues to serve today. [Grade Level: 3 - 5]