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.
Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream Crystal Hubbard (Author), Randy Duburke (Illustrator) Marcenia Lyle wants to be a professional baseball player, but her parents make clear that the only jobs available to African American women in that time (the 1930s) are teacher, nurse and maid. When the St. Louis Cardinals manager forms a baseball camp, he denies admission to Marcenia because of her gender. However, Marcenia dazzles him with her skill until he agrees to let her join. An afterword reveals that Marcenia, under the name Toni Stone, became the first female member of an all-male baseball team, filling the spot vacated by Hank Aaron when he joined the Major Leagues. [Grade Level: 1 - 4]
El Chino Written and Illustrated by Allen Say Billy, the son of immigrants from China, was always told by his father that "In America, you can be anything you want to be." Billy's dreams of being a famous basketball player, however, are met with laughs and comments like, "Who's ever heard of a Chinese athlete!" Billy gives up his hopes of being a great athlete and studies engineering. Years later, while visiting Spain, Billy's dreams are reawakened when he falls in love with bullfighting and defies expectations to become the first Asian matador. [Grade Level: 2 - 6]