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Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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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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Writers
 
1.   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]
 
2.   Ida B. Wells-Barnett: A Voice against Violence
Ned O. Berkeley (Illustrator), Frederick McKissack (Author), Patrick McKissack (Author)
A biography of the female journalist who campaigned for the civil rights of women and other minorities and was a founder of the NAACP.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
3.   Jump at de Sun: The Story of Zora Neal Hurston
Lucy Ann Hurston (Author), A. P. Porter (Author)
The story of author Zora Neale Hurston and her battles against racism and poverty.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
4.   Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
Stephen Alcorn (Illustrator), Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author)
Let It Shine is a collection of short biographies celebrating the contributions of 10 black women who moved forward the cause of civil rights in America. Following a preface that describes her own family roots in the civil rights movement, Pinkney presents her heroines chronologically in verbal portraits that capture the subjects' faith, strength of character, and determination in the face of hardships and racial injustice. The subjects—who are depicted in full-page oil paintings — include Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
 
5.   Oh, the Places He Went
Kerry Maguire (Illustrator), Maryann N. Weidt (Author)
A story about Dr. Seuss, the shy boy who grew from being a discouraged artist and writer to the creator of some of the most beloved children's books of all time.
 
6.   Richard Wright and the Library Card
Gregory Christie (Illustrator), William Miller (Author)
A true story about author Richard Wright and his determination to borrow books from the public library that turned him away because of the color of his skin.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
7.   Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree
Ying-Hwa Hu (Illustrator), William Miller (Author), Cornelius Van Wright (Illustrator)
The story of young Zora Hurston and the lessons she learned from her mother.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
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