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
The Harvey Milk Story Kari Krakow (Author), David Gardner (Illustrator) This picture-book biography is among the only titles for primary students on lesbian and gay history. It tells the story of the first openly gay elected city official in the United States, beginning with his childhood and taking us through his years in the Navy and career as a teacher. The author sensitively discusses how Milk kept his emerging gay identity a secret through young adulthood until he moved to San Francisco, where he ultimately became a politician and worked toward "laws to ensure the quality of life for all people." Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978, becoming a martyr for the cause of gay rights in the U.S. [Grade Level: K - 3]
Hero and the Holocaust: The Story of Janusz Korczak and His Children David A. Adler (Author), Bill Farnsworth (Illustrator) Janusz Korczak—called “Old Doctor” by the orphans who loved him—was a doctor and promoter of children's rights, who ran a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw, Poland during the years of the Nazi’s rise to power. Korczak bravely sheltered his children from the brutality of the Warsaw Ghetto until the Nazis forced him to lead the orphans to the Treblinka death camp. When a Nazi soldier at Treblinka offered to spare Korczak from extermination, he refused and remained with his children until the end. [Grade Level: 3 - 6]
Hiding from the Nazis David A. Adler (Author), Karen Ritz (Illustrator) The true story of Lore Baer, a four-year-old Jewish child placed with a Christian family in the Dutch farm country to avoid persecution by the Nazis. [Grade Level: 2 - 4]
Hillary Rodham Clinton JoAnn Bren Guernsey (Author), Margaret J. Goldstein (Author) This portrait of the former First Lady and current senator from New York covers Clinton's many achievements, from her efforts to reform health care to writing books to working as a successful lawyer. Guernsey includes controversial aspects of her subject's story, from her husband's impeachment trial to Clinton's "imaginary conversations" with Eleanor Roosevelt. The text also enumerates the criticism she has received, but balances it with positive comments. [Grade Level: 5 - 9]
I Am Rosa Parks Rosa Parks (Author), Jim Haskins (Author), Wil Clay (Illustrator) The woman whose acts of civil disobedience led to the 1956 Supreme Court order to desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama, explains what she did and why. [Grade Level: K - 3]