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Biographical/Autobiographical

This category contains 11 posts

PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHIES OF E.B. WHITE

  While both of these picture book biographies about E.B. White are good, they each have a distinctly different focus. A Boy, A Mouse and A Spider by Barbara Herkert is written very much in the pastoral style E.B. White, himself, favored. There is not a huge amount of text on any one page. On … Continue reading

THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT MARGARET WISE BROWN by Mac Barnett Illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority in my opinion of this book, but here goes…I found it included with a list of books readers thought should be considered for the Newbery Award this year. As I loved Brown’s work as a child and still enjoy Mac Barnett’s picture books when reading to children, I … Continue reading

JOHN DEERE, THAT’S WHO by Tracy Nelson Maurer Illustrated by Tim Zeltner…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

John Deere, That’s Who is an interesting and well written biography of John Deere.  Maurer is a Minnesota author and, although John Deere was not from Minnesota, his work is definitely one of the foundations of the Minnesota farming life. This book answers the questions: So who changed the plan for America’s farmers? Who changed a … Continue reading

EMMANUEL’S DREAM: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson Illustrated by Sean Qualls…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

Emmanuel’s Dream is a biographical picture book about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, introduced to the reader like this: In Ghana, West Africa, a baby boy was born: Two bright eyes blinked in the light, two healthy lungs let out a powerful cry, two tiny fists opened and closed, but only one strong leg kicked. The people … Continue reading

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a remarkably accessible autobiographical account of the author’s childhood written in free verse that flows easily from page to page, smoothly linking each moment to the next in the story. Told through free verse, Jacqueline’s story from her earliest memories of her parents, her grandparents and her brothers and sisters … Continue reading

T4 by Ann Clare LeZotte

T4 is the sometimes touching, sometimes horrifying story of Paula. I was born In a little house On a street With tall poplar trees.   I could see Bluish hills In the distance.   That was my home. But my country, Germany, Was not my home.   Our leader, Adolf Hitler, And the Nazi Party … Continue reading

MARIA VON TRAPP: BEYOND THE SOUND OF MUSIC by Candice F. Ransom

I loved The Sound of Music from the first time I saw the movie–and countless viewings later I still love it.  When my mother told me that it was a true story, that Maria and the Captain, their children and their escape from Austria and the Nazis were actual people it enhanced the connection I … Continue reading

THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN (ACCORDING TO SUSY) By Barbara Kerley

Frustrated and annoyed by the public opinions and descriptions of her father, Mark Twain’s daughter, 13-year-old Susy Clemens, decided that she would right the situation by writing her own biography of her father. In this wonderful picture book Barbara Kerley offers some basic information about Mark Twain, but cleverly incorporates exerpts from Susy’s biography of … Continue reading

THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 8: A LIFE OF MARK TWAIN IN THE WILD, WILD WEST By Sid Fleischman

I love Sid Fleischman’s biographies.  The Trouble Begins at 8 is no exception.  The title refers to Twain’s own poster for his lectures which announced that the doors would open at 7 o’clock with “The Trouble to Begin at 8 o’clock.” The advantages to Fleischman’s biographies (I highly recommend his other two on Harry Houdini and … Continue reading

INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out & Back Again is an extraordinary book.  It is written in free verse and tells the story of 11-year-old Ha and her family as they flee from South Vietnam in 1975.  Ha, her mother and three older brothers board a ship and sail to meet an American rescue ship.  They are then transported … Continue reading