You are here

Must-Read Children's Biographies


Welcome to the Denver Public Library’s Children’s Biography Core Collection! A Core Collection is a culturally literate and enduringly important collection of books that reflects the diversity and popular interests of the library community.

The Children’s Biography Core Collection is full of heroes, barrier-breakers, movers and shakers. Explore well-known world leaders like Nelson Mandela or early creators of hip hop like DJ Kool Herc. There are local figures like Dr. Temple Grandin and influential young people like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. Other fascinating folks included on the list might not be so well-known, like Maria Merian who made important discoveries about butterflies, Teresa Carreño, a piano prodigy in the Civil War era, or Dave the Potter, an artist, poet, and enslaved person. Who will you discover in this interesting collection of biographies?

View all the Core Collections by checking out our catalog!

Check out our other Must-Read Lists for Kids!

Place a hold on one of these excellent biographies today!

The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up The World
A dynamic and hip collective biography that presents 44 of America's greatest movers and shakers from Frederick Douglass to Aretha Franklin to Barack Obama, written by ESPN's and illustrated with dazzling portraits by Rob Ball.
A Black Woman Did That
Adero, Malaika, 1957- author.
A Black Woman Did That is a celebration of strong, resilient, innovative, and inspiring women of color. With a vibrant mixture of photography, illustration, biography, and storytelling, author Malaika Adero will spotlight well-known historical figures and women who are pushing boundaries today--including Ida B. Wells, Madam CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Serena Williams, Mae Jamison, Stacey Abrams, Jesmyn Ward, Ava DuVernay, and Amy Sherald.
All In A Drop: How Antony Van Leeuwenhoek Discovered An Invisible World
Alexander, Lori, author.
For fans of the "Who Was" series, this lively, accessible, and full-color chapter book biography shows how a self-taught scientist was the first to observe the microbial life in and around us. By building his own microscope, Antony van Leeuwenhoek advanced humanity's understanding of our oft-invisible world around us.
Awesome Asian Americans: 20 Stars Who Made America Amazing
Amara, Philip, author.
This is an illustrated children's anthology of noteworthy Asian Americans: 20 groundbreaking men and women from diverse backgrounds and vocations.
Trombone Shorty
Andrews, Troy, author.
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Six Dots: A Story Of Young Louis Braille
author. Bryant, Jen, 1960-
Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet--a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.
Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein
Bailey, Linda, 1948- author.
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley's terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published -- a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time. A riveting and atmospheric picture book about the young woman who wrote one of the greatest horror novels ever written and one of the first works of science fiction, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is an exploration of the process of artistic inspiration that will galvanize readers and writers of all ages.
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story Of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain
Bardoe, Cheryl, 1971- author.
A biography of Sophie Germain, who grew up during the French Revolution and followed her dream of studying mathematics, becoming the first woman to win a grand prize from the Royal Academy of Sciences and changing the world with her discoveries.
Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different: True Tales Of Amazing Boys Who Changed The World Without Killing Dragons
Brooks, Ben, 1992- author.
Prince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster . . . More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. As a boy, there is an assumption that you will conform to a stereotypical idea of masculinity. But what if you're the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you're feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress? There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dalí, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens - different sorts of heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world.
Stories For Kids Who Dare To Be Different: True Tales Of Amazing People Who Stood Up And Stood Out
Brooks, Ben, 1992- author.
Profiles over seventy people who broke the rules and smashed stereotypes, including such figures as Emma Gonzalez, Andy Warhol, Bjork, Hans Christian Andersen, and Sally Ride.
Chester Nez And The Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker's Story
Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- author.
As a boy, Chester Nez was taught his native language and culture were useless, but he was later called on to use his Navajo language to help create an unbreakable military code during WWII.
I Am Not A Label: 34 Disabled Artists, Thinkers, Athletes And Activists From Past And Present
Burnell, Cerrie, author.
Meet 34 artists, thinkers, athletes, and activists with disabilities, from past and present. From Frida Kahlo to Stephen Hawking, find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences, and paved the way for others by making their bodies and minds work for them.
Greta's Story : The Schoolgirl Who Went On Strike To Save The Planet
Camerini, Valentina, 1981- author.
In legislatures all over the world, ten of thousands of serious-looking and stern-sounding politicians sat and discussed an endless range of issues. But they never addressed the problem of the health of the planet. It was time for someone to remind them to step in to protect the environment -- and the future of children all over the world. It was an emergency. Everything else could wait. So Greta made a sign, put on her jacket, and went on strike"--Back cover.
Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Anne Frank
Churnin, Nancy, author.
Reflects upon the parallels drawn between the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank, both born in 1929, and how their legacies of kindness, love, and peace have changed the world today.
Before She Was Harriet
Cline-Ransome, Lesa, author.
A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.
Hello Neighbor!: The Kind And Caring World Of Mister Rogers
Cordell, Matthew, 1975- author, illustrator.
How was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood created, and who was the man that started it all? This moving and informative picture book explores the history of this acclaimed television show and its inspiring creator in an accessible way for children. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was groundbreaking in its own quiet, generous way. It introduced art, professions, food and even highlighted difficult subjects, like losing a loved one and divorce. This information was delivered both by live performers, like Fred Rogers himself and through a lively cast of puppets who lived in the land of make believe. Backmatter includes a short biography of Fred Rogers as well as exclusively published archival photos provided by Fred Rogers Productions, and an essay from the author. Available shortly after the release of the Mister Rogers' biopic, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks, this is the perfect picture book for all who appreciate the power and beauty of Fred's mission. Thoroughly illustrated with lively and captivating drawings, by Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, Hello, Neighbor! captures the spirit of the beloved television show.
Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré
Denise, Anika, author.
From the author of MONSTER TRUCK and STARRING CARMEN comes a gorgeous and lyrical story about Pura Belpré, a Puerto Rican librarian who changed the world.
Never Caught, The Story Of Ona Judge [Young Readers Edition]: George And Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared To Run Away
Dunbar, Erica Armstrong, author.
A National Book Award Finalist for Non-Fiction, Never Caught is the eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington's runaway slave, who risked everything for freedom. Now in a Young Readers Edition.
Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics
Engle, Margarita, author.
Bold, graphic portraits and beautiful poems present famous and lesser-known Latinos from varied backgrounds who have faced life's challenges in creative ways.
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played The Piano For President Lincoln
Engle, Margarita, author.
Looks at the life and accomplishments of Teresa Carreño, one of the most famous pianist who, by age nine, performed for President Abraham Lincoln at the White House.
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2
Favilli, Elena, author.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. This book inspires girls with the stories of great women.
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Tales Of Extraordinary Women
Favilli, Elena, author.
To the rebel girls of the world: dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder, and, when in doubt, remember you are right.
Giovanni, Nikki.
Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed. Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni's evocative text combines with Bryan Collier's striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.
Write To Me: Letters From Japanese American Children To The Librarian They Left Behind
Grady, Cynthia, author.
It's 1942, after Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor during WWII. Now all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States are being forcibly moved into internment camps. The US government has decided that anyone of Japanese descent might be dangerous. Miss Breed gives her young patrons penny postcards, saying, "Write to me." And they do. Back and forth over three long years, MIss Breed and many children correspond. Meanwhile, Miss Breed writes articles and letters to point out the mistreatment of Japanese Americans. Using excerpts from the letters that children wrote to Miss Breed, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult part of our national history with honesty and hope.
Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson And Her Secret School
Halfmann, Janet, author.
The life of Lilly Ann Granderson, an enslaved teacher who strongly believed in the power of education and risked her life to teach others during slavery. Includes afterword and sources.
Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around The World
Harrison, Vashti, author.
Brief, illustrated bios of women creators around the world.
We Are Artists : Women Who Made Their Mark On The World
Herbert, Kari, 1970- author, illustrator.
Take an inspiring journey through the world are art and discover the stories of some remarkable women artists.
Dave The Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
Hill, Laban Carrick.
Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as an enslaved person. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill's elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier's resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave's story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.
When The Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hip Hop
Hill, Laban Carrick.
Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc. On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks the musical interludes between verses longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.
Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World
Ignotofsky, Rachel, 1989- author, illustrator.
A collection of artworks inspired by the lives and achievements of fifty famous women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from the ancient world to the present, profiles each notable individual. Full of art, this collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Reaching For The Moon: The Autobiography Of Nasa Mathematician Katherine Johnson
Johnson, Katherine G., author.
The inspiring autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch Apollo 11.
Go Show The World: A Celebration Of Indigenous Heroes
Kinew, Wab, 1981- author.
Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not- so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: "We are people who matter, yes, it's true; now let's show the world what people who matter can do.
Harvesting Hope: The Story Of Cesar Chavez
Krull, Kathleen.
A biography of Cesar Chavez, from age ten when he and his family lived happily on their Arizona ranch, to age thirty-eight when he led a peaceful protest against California migrant workers' miserable working conditions.
The Youngest Marcher: The Story Of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist
Levinson, Cynthia, author.
Presents the life of nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks who became the youngest known child to be arrested for picketing against Birmingham segregation practices in 1963.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Levy, Debbie, author.
Traces the achievements of the celebrated Supreme Court justice through the lens of her many famous acts of civil disagreement against inequality, unfair treatment, and human rights injustice.
Muddy: The Story Of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Mahin, Michael James, author.
A picture book celebration of the indomitable Muddy Waters, a blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll. Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn't put food on the table, Muddy didn't listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made. Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose and soulful illustrations, Michael Mahin and award-winning artist Evan Turk tell Muddy's fascinating and inspiring story of struggle, determination, and hope.
The Vast Wonder Of The World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just
Mangal, Mélina, author.
Presents the life and accomplishments of the African American scientist, whose keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life.
Saving The Countryside: The Story Of Beatrix Potter And Peter Rabbit
Marshall, Linda Elovitz, author.
Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn't go to school and weren't expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished.
Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions Of Our Time
Mir, Saira, author.
This picture book introduces readers to nineteen powerhouse Muslim women who rose up and made their voices heard. Long ago, Muslim women rode into battle to defend their dreams. They opened the doors to the world's oldest library. They ruled, started movements, and spread knowledge. Today, Muslim women continue to make history. Once upon a time, they were children with dreams, just like you. Discover the true stories of nineteen unstoppable Muslim women of the twenty-first century who have risen above challenges, doubts, and sometimes outright hostility to blaze trails in a wide range of fields. Whether it was the culinary arts, fashion, sports, government, science, entertainment, education, or activism, these women never took "no" for an answer, or allowed themselves to be silenced. Instead, they worked to rise above and not only achieve their dreams, but become influential leaders.
Nonsense!: The Curious Story Of Edward Gorey
Mortensen, Lori, 1955- author.
Profiles the education and eccentric brilliance of writer and artist Edward Gorey, discussing the creative process that led to more than 100 children's books and inspired a generation of creators, from Lemony Snicket to Tim Burton.
The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story Of Dr. Temple Grandin
Mosca, Julia Finley, author.
When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe! The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!
Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary: A Biography
Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014
Profiles the late African American leader, providing a startling picture of the life of the controversial and important historical figure.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai And The Trees Of Kenya
Napoli, Donna Jo, 1948-
Wangari grew up in the shadow of Mount Kenya listening to the stories about the people and land around her. Though the trees towered over her, she had loved them for as long as she could remember. So strong, so beautiful, how the trees made her smile. Wangari planted trees one by one to refresh her spirit. When the women came to her for help with their families, she told them to do the same. Soon the countryside was filled with trees. Kenya was strong once more. Wangari had changed her country, tree by tree.
Nelson Mandela
Nelson, Kadir.
Presents a biography of the former South African president best known for his political activism and fight to end apartheid.
Let 'er Buck!: George Fletcher, The People's Champion
Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux, author.
African American George Fletcher loved horses from an early age. When he unfairly lost the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up to a white man, the outraged audience declared him "people's champion.
Groundbreaking Guys: 40 Men Who Became Great By Doing Good
Peters, Stephanie True, 1965- author.
This illustrated survey book is a collection of forty diverse men who helped their communities.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life Of Josephine Baker
Powell, Patricia Hruby, 1951-
A portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.
Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History
Prager, Sarah, 1986- author.
Rainbow Revolutionaries brings to life the vibrant histories of fifty pioneering LGBTQ+ people from around the world. Through Sarah Prager's (Queer, There, and Everywhere) short, engaging bios, and Sarah Papworth's bold, dynamic art, readers can delve into the lives of Wen of Han, a Chinese emperor who loved his boyfriend as much as his people, Martine Rothblatt, a trans woman who's helping engineer the robots of tomorrow, and so many more!
A Boy And A Jaguar
Rabinowitz, Alan, 1953-2018
The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.
Martin's Big Words: The Life Of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rappaport, Doreen.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier's stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.
Promises To Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America
Robinson, Sharon, 1950-
A biography of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, as told by his daughter.
Otis And Will Discover The Deep: The Record-Setting Dive Of The Bathysphere
Rosenstock, Barb, author.
A biographical account of engineer Otis Barton and naturalist Will Beebe's record-setting descent into the deep ocean in their Bathysphere craft, making the men the first humans to witness deep sea creatures in their natural habitat.
The Girl Who Rode A Shark & Other Stories Of Daring Women
Ross, Ailsa, author.
Biographical vignettes highlight exciting adventures and innovative contributions of women and girls from a wide variety of countries and historical periods. Now more than ever, the world is recognizing how strong women and girls are. How strong? In the early 1920s, Inuit expeditioner Ada Blackjack survived for two years as a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Arctic Ocean before she was finally rescued. And she's just one example. The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women is a rousing collection of biographies focused on women and girls who have written, explored, or otherwise plunged headfirst into the pages of history. Undaunted by expectations, they made their mark by persevering in pursuit of their passions. The tales come from a huge variety of times and places, from a Canadian astronaut to an Indian secret agent to a Balkan pirate queen who stood up to Ancient Rome. Author and activist Ailsa Ross gives readers a fun, informative piece of nonfiction that emphasizes the boundless potential of a new generation of women.
Zaha Hadid
Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel (María Isabel), author.
Hadid grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, surrounded by music. She was a curious and confident child who designed her own modernist bedroom at nine years old. As a young woman studying at University in Beirut, she was described as the most outstanding pupil the teacher had ever met. With her vision and belief in the power of architecture, she founded her own firm and designed [world-famous] buildings including the London 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre.
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science
Sidman, Joyce, author.
Newbery-Honor winning author Joyce Sidman explores the extraordinary life and scientific discoveries of Maria Merian, who discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented the science behind the mystery in this visual biography that features many original paintings by Maria herself.
Radiant Child: The Story Of Young Artist Jean-michel Basquiat
Steptoe, Javaka, 1971- author, illustrator.
Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.
Some Writer!: The Story Of E. B. White
Sweet, Melissa, 1956- author, illustrator.
"SOME PIG," Charlotte the spider's praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White's personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children's book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter.
Amazing Women Of The Middle East: 25 Stories From Ancient Times To Present Day
Tarnowska, Wafa', author.
Discover Sheherazade, the famous storyteller, dive into the musical world of the beautiful singer Fairuz and meet Amal Clooney, an outstanding international lawyer. Feel inspired by twenty-five amazing women from the Middle East, who have created a legacy through strength of vision, leadership, courage, and determination. Written by Wafa Tarnowska, this collection of life stories is illustrated by a team of international artists.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight For Desegregation
Tonatiuh, Duncan.
Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.
Soldier For Equality: José De La Luz Saénz And The Great War
Tonatiuh, Duncan, author.
José de la Luz Sáenz (1888-1953)--or Luz--believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn't receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz's diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz's later years, an author's note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Valdez, Patricia, author.
Looks at the inspiring story of Joan Procter, a pioneering female scientist who loved reptiles.
Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped The United States
Vourvoulias, Sabrina, author.
Published in association with the Smithsonian Institution and the Molina Family Latino Gallery, a celebration of 30 of history's most influential Latinas and Latinos shares the uplifting stories of subjects ranging from Pura Belpré and César Chávez to Jennifer Lopez and Sonia Sotomayor.
Surviving Hitler: A Boy In The Nazi Death Camps
Warren, Andrea.
The life-changing story of a young boy’s struggle for survival in a Nazi-run concentration camp. Narrated in the voice of Holocaust survivor Jack Mandelbaum, this harrowing true story includes black-and-white photos from the archives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. When twelve-year-old Jack Mandelbaum is separated from his family and shipped off to the Blechhammer concentration camp, his life becomes a never-ending nightmare. With minimal food to eat and harsh living conditions threatening his health, Jack manages to survive by thinking of his family. In this Robert F. Silbert Honor book, readers will glimpse the dark reality of life during the Holocaust, and how one boy made it out alive.
Voice Of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit Of The Civil Rights Movement
Weatherford, Carole Boston, 1956- author.
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
The Watcher: The Story Of Jane Goodall
Winter, Jeanette.
This book traces out the life and career of Jane Goodall as a watcher of English fauna to her adult work as scholar of animal behavior in Africa.
Mother Jones And Her Army Of Mill Children
Winter, Jonah, 1962- author.
The story of Mother Jones, an Irish immigrant who was essential in the fight to create child labor laws. Well into her sixties, Mother Jones had finally had enough of children working long hours in dangerous factory jobs, and decided she was going to do something about it. The powerful protests she organized earned her the name "the most dangerous woman in America." And in the Children's Crusade of 1903, she lead one hundred boys and girls on a glorious march from Philadelphia right to the front door of President Theodore Roosevelt's Long Island home.
Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
Yoo, Paula, author.
A biography of Chinese American film star Anna May Wong who, in spite of limited opportunities, achieved her dream of becoming an actress and worked to represent her race on screen in a truthful, positive manner.
Malala's Magic Pencil
Yousafzai, Malala, 1997- author.
Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

Want more books on this topic? Request a Personalized Reading List!