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Page history last edited by Judi Moreillon 12 years, 1 month ago



Kinds of Biographies:

Authentic - factual, documented

Fictionalized - thoroughly researched plus imagined conversations

Biographical Fiction - artistic license, invented dialogue, fictionalized secondary characters, and reconstructed action


Here is a list of my favorite picturebook biographies:


Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick. (Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt). Scholastic, 2000. - no

Bill Pickett: Rodeo Riding Cowboy by Andrea Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Harcourt Brace, 1996. - Sandpiper, 1999, $7

A Blue Butterfly, A Story about Monet by Bijou Le Tord. Doubleday, 1995. - no

A Boy Called Slow (Sitting Bull) by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Rocco Baviera. Philomel, 1994. - Puffin, 1998, $6.99

El Chino (Bill Wong, Chinese American Bullfighter) by Allen Say. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. - Sandpiper, 1996, $6.95

Elegy on the Death of César Chávez by Rudolfo Anaya, illustrated by Gaspar Enriquez. Cinco Puntos, 2000. (Dr. M. is going to read this one to the class; do not choose this one for SAB. Thank you.) - Cinco Puntos, 2004, $8.95 

Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brain Pinkney. Harcourt Brace, 1994. - Sandpiper, 1998, $7.00

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra  by Andrea Davis Pinkney,
            illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Hyperion, 1998. - Hyperion, 2006, $6.99

Eleanor (Eleanor Roosevelt) by Barbara Cooney. Viking, 1996. - Puffin, 1999, $6.99

Frida by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Ana Juan. Levine, 2002.

Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sís. Knopf, 1991. - Dragonfly, 1996, $11.99

The Glorious Flight, Across the Channel with Louis Blériot, July 25, 1909 by Alice and Martin Provensen. Viking, 1983. - Puffin, 1987, $6.99

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales. Harcourt, 2003. - Scholastic, 2004, $13.50

Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley. Morrow, 1998. - Harper-Collins, 2002, $8.99

Laura Ingalls Wilder, written and illustrated by Alexandra Wallner. Holiday House, 1997. - Scholastic, 1999, $15.00

Leonardo DaVinci: The Artist, Inventor, Scientist in Three-Dimensional Movable Pictures by A. and M. Provensen. Viking, 1984. - no

Lou Gehrig, The Luckiest Man by David Adler, illustrated by Terry Widener. Harcourt Brace, 1997. - Sandpiper, 2001, $7.00

Mandela: From the Life of South African Statesman by Floyd Cooper. Philomel, 1996. - Puffin, 2000, $6.99

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier. Hyperion, 2001. - Hyperion, 2007, $7.99

Michaelangelo by Diane Stanley. Morrow, 2000. - Harper-Collins, 2003, $6.99.

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, 1996. - Puffin, 2000, $6.99

More Than Anything Else (Booker T. Washington) by Marie Bradby, illustrated Chris K. Soentpiet. Orchard, 1995. - no

My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold. Crown, 1995. - Dragonfly, 1998, $7.99

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rafael López. Luna Rising, 2004. - no

My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garciá Márquez by Monica Brown, illustrated by Raúl Colón. Luna Rising, 2007. - no

Sadako by Eleanor Coerr, illustrated by Ed Young. Putnam, 1993. - Puffin, 2004, $5.99

Satchmo’s Blues (Louis Armstrong) by Alan Schroeder, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Doubleday, 1996. - Dragonfly, 1999, $6.99

Snowflake Bentley (Self-taught Biology Photographer) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Illustrated by Mary Azarian. Houghton Mifflin, 1998. - Sandpiper, 2009, $7.99

Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the lLfe of a Famous Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Physicist, Galileo Galilei by Peter Sís. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1996. FSG, 2000, $7.99

The Starry Night (Vincent VanGogh) by Neil Waldman. Boyds Mills, 1999. - Boyds Mills, 2010, $10.16

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003. - no

The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007. - no

Walt Whitman: Words for America by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, 2004. - no

When Marian Sang (Marian Anderson) by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, 2002. - no

William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki. HarperColllins, 1999. - Trophy, 2000, $6.99

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by David Diaz. Harcourt Brace, 1996. - Sandpiper, 2000, $7.00

Young Mozart by Rachel Isadora. Viking, 1997. - no


Biographies for Teens


Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Melanie Kruopa, 2009.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. Scholastic, 1999. 

A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Philippe. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. (Shelved with poetry)


ALL Biographies Written Expressly for Young Adults by

  1. Russell Freedman
  2. Milton Meltzer


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