Biographies & Autobiographies

Rating

Difficulty

Knucklehead [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Scieszka, Jon

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Thankfully, Scieszka never grew up. Evidence is this autobiography that reads more like a conversation with the class clown in the back row of Algebra I than a memoir. The author of The Time Warp Trio series as well as neo-classic picture books The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs tells of his growing up as the second of six sons of a school principal and a nurse in Flint, Michigan. Predictable hilarity of a rambunctious boy-dominated world ensues.”

Age Range: 9 – 11

Lexile 750

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

ChallengingKnucklehead

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A.

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.”

Suggested to use with Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story of Africa by Jeanette Winter.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

AveragePlanting the Trees of Kenya

Sigmund Freud [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Krull, Kathleen

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

Describing life in 19th century Vienna, “Kathleen Krull proves Sigmund Freud deserves a place in her much-lauded series, because he essentially created a brand-new branch of medicine: psychoanalysis.”

– Giants of Science series

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

ChallengingSigmund Freud

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by McClafferty, Carla

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Marie Curie s life and work are given a fresh telling, one that also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig

ChallengingSomething Out of Nothing

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.”

Suggested to use with Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.

Age Range: 3 – 8

Lexile 730 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

AverageWangaris Trees of Peace

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

Biographies and Autobiographies

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics.”

Age Range: 6 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

ChallengingWilma Unlimited