A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt. Holiday House, 1991.
A brief account of the life and accomplishments of Eleanor
brief account of the life and accomplishments of Eleanor
Roosevelt. A crisply written biography enhanced by realistic
watercolors. Key events are highlighted, from Roosevelt's early
childhood to her role as representative to the United Nations. A
list of important dates is included. The few flaws are worth
noting. The sentence, ``Eleanor's mother was beautiful, but
Eleanor was not a pretty child,'' is contradicted by the
illustration. The text also states, ``In 1921 Franklin was
stricken with polio. He couldn't walk after that.'' More
accurately, he couldn't stand or walk unassisted (without
braces, cane, or help from another person). The summary table of
important dates is more about Franklin than Eleanor until 1945.
And an opinion is stated as fact: ``She was the most important,
most loved woman of her time.'' Despite these problems, the book
Brenner, M, (1994). Abe Lincolnís hat. Random House.
2.9 GL: M A far cry from the reverent tone of most children's books on
Lincoln, this short, anecdotal biography actually humanizes him.
Lincoln is shown as a struggling and somewhat disorganized
lawyer who makes his way through goodwill and good sense. The
book begins with his purchase of a tall black hat. Later, a
group of boys rig up a high wire and knock it off his head,
scattering the important papers he kept inside. Courtroom
stories include Lincoln proving which man owned a young horse by
letting the colt loose to go to its mother and his defense of a
slave's right to be granted freedom in Illinois, a free state.
Although Brenner includes no source notes, she states that all
the stories she relates are true. The humor, lively lines, and
soft, shaded colors of Cook's illustrations add to the book's
Hugh. Anastasia's Album. Scholastic Inc., 1997.
Photographs and excerpts from personal letters tell the story
of Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who is believed to have
been executed along with the rest of her family during the Russian
revolution in 1918.
Rd Lvl: 5.9
Robert. Flight : the journey of Charles Lindbergh.
Charles Lindbergh achieved the remarkable feat of flying nonstop and
solo from New York to Paris in 1927.
Barbara. Eleanor. Viking, 1996.
Presents the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, who married a
president of the United States and became a great humanitarian.
Davidson, M. (1986). I have a dream : the story of Martin
Luther King . Scholastic Inc. RL 3.0, IL 3-6. A brief
biography detailing the major achievements of the leader who
worked for equal rights for African-Americans.
Douglass, F.(1994). Escape from slavery: The Boyhood of
Frederick Douglass in his own words. Illustrated by Michael
McCurdy ; foreword by Coretta Scott King. Alfred A. Knopf. RL
6.9 With the power of his words and the truth of his own
experience, Frederick Douglass dramatized the abomination of
slavery and the struggle of a young man to break free. In this
shortened version of Douglass' 1845 autobiography, McCurdy has
done a splendid job of bringing the Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass to middle-grade readers. There are brief
introductory notes about what's been left out in each chapter;
otherwise, the voice is Douglass' own, in all its simplicity,
lyricism, and fury. Read this aloud; discuss it in the
classroom. Many kids will go from here to more of Douglass'
writing and to other slave narratives.
Fradin, D.(2003). Bound for the North Star. Clarion Books. RL
6.9 This collective biography is an inspiring history of those
who escaped slavery and their rescuers. It is also a horrifying,
detailed account of what the people escaped. Fradin draws on
more than 16 slaves' personal experiences to show what slavery
was like: the unrelenting racism; the physical brutality,
including rape and flogging; the anguish of family separation.
The accounts of reunions, often after years apart, are almost
unbearable to read. The escapes and rescues show incredible
courage, sacrifice, luck, and determination, but Fradin is clear
that many slaves didn't make it, including Margaret Garner (the
inspiration for Toni Morrison's 1987 novel Beloved, who slit her
baby's throat so that her child would not be a slave. Like
Holocaust narratives, this is painful reading about legal racist
cruelty and those who resisted it.
Freedman, R. (1987). Lincoln: A Photobiography. Clarion Books.
RL: 7.4 GL: V
than 80 photographs and prints illustrate the crisp and
informative text. The pictures have been well-placed to
coordinate with the text; captions have been written with care
as well. While many of the photographs are well-known, many less
familiar pictures are also included. Freedman begins by
contrasting the Lincoln of legend to the Lincoln of fact. His
childhood, self-education, early business ventures, and entry
into politics comprise the first half of the book, with the rest
of the text covering his presidency and assassination.
Freedman's extensive research is apparent in the liberal use he
makes of quotations from original sources (letters, contemporary
newspaper articles, etc. A listing of historic sites open to the
public and a sampler of wise and witty excerpts from Lincoln's
writings complete the book. Well-organized and well-written,
this is an outstanding example of what (juvenile) biography can
Giblin, J.(1992). George Washington: A Picture book biography.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 4) and index. Examines
the family life and career of the first American president, also
discussing myths and legends, monuments to Washington, and Mount
Vernon RL 4.6 GL: R
Eloise. Mary McLeod Bethune. Harper Collins, 1997.
Biography of Mary Jane McLeod Bethune who made numerous
contributions to education for African-Americans.
Rd Lvl: 3.5
Hearne, B.(1995). Seven brave women. Greenwillow Brooks.
RL: 2.8 In a world where history is often seen through the
prism of war, Hearne introduces seven women of peace who also
shaped history--through their creativeness, imagination, and,
yes, bravery. The text is strong and sure, with a cadence that
makes it easy to read aloud. History units and genealogy
projects are just a few of the places where this innovative
piece will be integrated into the curriculum.
Boehm. Who Was Amelia Earhart? Grosset & Dunlap, 2002.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 106). Examines
the life of Amelia Earhart, a pioneer female aviator who mysteriously
disappeared during an around-the-world flight in 1937.
Rd Lvl: 5.8
Americans: Every Kid Should Know.
McClanahan Book Co.
Miller, W.(1995). Frederick Douglass: The last day of
slavery. RL: 4.1 GL: M An illustrated account of Frederick
Douglass's life as a slave, which tells the story of how he
refused to let an overseer break his spirit, determining never
to think nor act like a slave.
John. Amelia Earhart, Pioneer of the Sky. Bantam Double
Dell Books for Young Readers, 1991.
Describes the life
of one of the first women air pilots, including her flight records,
her trip across the Atlantic Ocean, and her disappearance during her
Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. Simon & Schuster, 1998.
A homemade quilt
ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish
family, remaining a symbol of their enduring love and faith.
Rd Lvl: 5.3
Quakenbush, Robert. Clear the cow pasture, I'm coming in for
a landing! : a story of Amelia Earhart .
Simon & Schuster,
A biography of the courageous aviatrix who became the first
woman to cross the Atlantic by air.
Rd Lvl: 4.9
Rappaport, D. (2001). Martinís big words: The life of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Hyperion Books. I. L.
Ages 4-9 RL: 6.1 Weaving in Dr. King's own "big words," this
inspiring picture-book biography celebrates the great leader as
preacher and politician. With powerful art and pulsing words
("He walked with them and talked with them and sang with them
and prayed with them"), this is a fine book to share and read
aloud many times.
Reiss, J. (1990) The Upstairs Room. Harper Trophy. RL
Dutch Jewish girl describes the two-and-one-half years she spent
in hiding in the upstairs bedroom of a farmer's house during
World War II.
Savin, F. (2000) Amelia Earhart: Adventure in the Sky GR 3-6
Troy, D.(1999). Booker T. Washington. The Childís World.
RL: 7.6 Includes bibliographical references
(p. 40) and index. Describes the life of Booker T. Washington,
his accomplishments as an educator, and his impact on the fight
Montana. Georgia O'Keefe. Little Brown & Company, 1977.
of the prominent American artist renowned for her images of gigantic
flowers, cityscapes, and distinctive desert scenes.
Jeremy Bird's (Port
Wing School District)
American Heroes Unit
Allida Black's (The George
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Recommended
Books and Websites
Joann Fox's (Ball
Recommended Biographies for Children
Bingo -Noteworthy People -Quiz
Sue Kreibich (Winona, Minnesota School
50 Great Americans every kid should Know. McClanahan Book Co.
Beth Plauche's recommendations:
Cohen, ed., Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great
(University of North Carolina Press, 2002).
S. McElvaine, ed. Down and Out in the Great Oppression: Letters from the
(University of North Carolina Press, 1983).
Brenner, Martha, Abe Lincolnís Hat,
Random House: 1994.
Coles, Robert, The
Story of Ruby Bridges, Scholastic: 1995.
Feldman, Eve B., They Fought for Freedom: Children in the Civil Right
Hill School Division.
Giblin, James Cross,
George Washington: A Picture Book Biography,
A Picture Book Biography, Scholastic: 1992.
Hearne, Betsy, Seven Brave Women,
Greenwillow Books: 1997.
Frederick Douglas: The Last Day of Slavery, Lee and
Loew Books: 1995.
Rappaport, Doreen, Martinís Big Words: the Life of Dr. Martian Luther King,
Hyperion Books For Children: 2001.
Troy, Don, Booker
T. Washington, The Childís World: 1999.
Waters, Kate, Sarah
Mortonís Day, Scholastic: 1989.
Escape from Slavery: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglas
in His Own Words,
Alfred A. Knopf: 1994.
Fradin, Denis Brindell, Bound for the North Star, Clarion Books: 2003.
Lincoln, a Photobiography, Clarion Books: 1987.
Hamilton, Virginia, Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to
Alfred A. Knopf: 1993.
Marrin, Albert, Commander in Chief, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War,
Murphy, Jim, The
Boysí War; Confederate and Union Solders Talk About the
Clarion Books: 1990.