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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Biographies for Youth
Picture-book biographies for middle readers stand out among this year’s list of top choices. The dynamic design in many of the titles below, all reviewed in Booklist during the last 12 months, will pull readers into the riveting stories of innovators, survivors, and heroes.
Fradin, Dennis Brindell. With a Little Luck: Surprising Stories of Amazing Discovery. 2006. illus. Dutton, $17.99 (0-525-47196-0).
Gr. 6–9. Fradin describes 11 thrilling breakthroughs in this collective biography, which celebrates and humanizes scientists, explorers, and other pioneers in exciting stories that are illustrated with photos and prints.
Giovanni, Nikki. Rosa. Illus. by Bryan Collier. 2005. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-7106-7).
Gr. 3–5. In this beautiful picture-book biography, passionate words and radiant collage illustrations present Rosa Parks as a strong, politically aware force in the civil rights movement.
Harness, Cheryl. The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin. 2005. illus. National Geographic, $17.95 (0-7922-7882-8).
Gr. 2–4. Harness’ latest inventive picture-book biography is a comprehensive, evocatively designed introduction to Franklin. Detailed watercolors and quotes enhance her wide-ranging, accessible text.
Johnson, Dolores. Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson. 2005. illus. index. National Geographic, $17.95 (0-7922-7914-X).
Gr. 5–8. African American Henson was part of the first expedition to reach the North Pole with Robert Perry, and this entry in the National Geographic Photobiography series focuses on the racism Henson faced, as well as his monumental achievements.
Jurmain, Suzanne. The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students. 2005. illus. Houghton, $18 (0-618-47302-5).
Gr. 5–8. In the 1830s, Crandall broke ground when she admitted girls of color into her Connecticut school. The many photographs and the dramatic telling create a strong portrait of an influential, nearly forgotten activist.
Krull, Kathleen. Isaac Newton. Illus. by Boris Kulikov. 2006. Viking, $15.99 (0-670-05921-8).
Gr. 5–8. This second offering in Krull’s Giants of Science series introduces Sir Isaac Newton in lively, conversational prose and combines clear explanations of Newton’s theories with fascinating anecdotes. Humorous pen-and-ink drawings illustrate.
Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. 2005. illus. Farrar/Frances Foster, $18 (0-374-33071-9).
Gr. 4–7. A must for Holocaust collections, this poignant picture book, illustrated with photos and haunting line-and-watercolor artwork, tells the author’s own story of hiding and surviving as a young child.
Partridge, Elizabeth. John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth. 2005. illus. Viking, $24.99 (0-670-05954-4).
Gr. 9–12. In direct words and spellbinding photos, this exceptional, sensitive biography offers an intimate, unvarnished view of the Beatles icon. A 2006 Printz Honor Book.
Poole, Josephine. Anne Frank. Illus. by Angela Barrett. 2005. Knopf, $17.95 (0-375-83242-4).
Gr. 4–7. Powerful, realistic pictures illustrate this compelling picture-book biography that stays close to Frank’s viewpoint. For grade-schoolers who are new to Frank’s story, as well as older children who have read her diary.
Rodriguez, Rachel Victoria. Through Georgia’s Eyes. Illus. by Julie Paschkis. 2006. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-7740-5).
K–Gr. 3. Short, poetic sentences and vivid collages introduce the life of Georgia O’Keeffe, from her Wisconsin childhood to her mature years in New Mexico.
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