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
Julia Ward Howe Written by Elizabeth Raum A biography of the nineteenth-century peace and social justice activist who wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 calling for a “Mother’s Day for Peace,” which eventually led to the holiday known today as Mother’s Day. Ward is most famous for writing the poem that became "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and is also known for her work against slavery and in support of a woman’s right to vote. [Grade Level: 2 - 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]
Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) Kathleen Krull (Author), Kathryn Hewitt (Illustrator) This book focuses on twenty women down through history who have held political power and influence, including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Eva Peron. These biographical pieces showcase queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, and revolutionary leaders. Some are notorious, others revered, and all were noteworthy women who succeeded in making their way through a male dominated society.
[Grade Level: 3 - 8]
Lucy Goes to the Country Joseph Kennedy (Author), John Canemaker (Illustrator) Lucy is an adventuresome cat who embarks on a trip from New York City to the countryside with her two “Big Guys.” While on this journey she discovers the importance of family and different types of same-sex headed families. [Grade Level: K - 2]
Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics Catherine Thimmesh (Author), Douglas B. Jones (Illustrator) This book provides 23 thumbnail sketches of women involved in politics in the United States and abroad. The subjects are divided into six categories and tied together by cartoon vignettes of a young girl who wants to be president. The author briefly highlights each individual's primary achievements and importance, and includes a quotation from each one. Subjects include Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O'Connor, Geraldine Ferraro, Margaret Thatcher, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Nancy Pelosi, and Mrs. J. L. Burn. [Grade Level: 3 - 6]