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Biographies For Kids

“Picture book biographies are engaging and informative. They educate children about famous people in history, as well as lesser known heroes from around the world. Biographies are inspiring, because readers learn about how real people who faced real challenges in the real world managed to overcome their difficulties. Biographies teach children to dream big, think deeply, and navigate challenges.” --Harper Collins/ Harper Stacks


Biographies were some of my favorite books when I was a child. I read my way through the Childhood of Famous Americans series, fresh off the Handley Library shelves. I was fascinated by the stories of people before they were famous. I was curious what their lives were like when they were growing up. Who did they look up to? What inspired them?


Handley Regional Library System has a wonderful selection of biographies to help young readers explore the answers to all of these questions. I want to highlight two great series: “Ordinary People Change The World”, and “Who Was?”


Ordinary People  Can Change the WorldThe “Ordinary People Change The World” series is written by Brad Meltzer and is illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. They include titles in both picture book and board book formats. Featured subjects include: Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Lucille Ball, Jim Henson, Billie Jean King, and Rosa Parks.


The website, Ordinary People Change The World, gives information about the series, has activities, and links to the PBS Kids show based on the books: Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum.


Find titles from this series HERE in our catalog.


The “Who Was?” series is published by Penguin and written by various authors. People from past and present are featured, such as: Greta Thunberg, Celia Cruz, Kobe Bryant, Benedict Arnold, and Nellie Bly. 

The website, Who Was? Series , also gives information about the series, includes activities, and links to the Netflix show that is based on the books, Who Was? 


Find titles from this series HERE in our catalog.