While fiction books for kids are great entertainers and offer a generous dose of imagination and creativity to your child’s mind, non-fiction books and biographies for kids inspire them to believe in the power of their dreams.
Biography is one genre that encompasses elements of thrill, adventure and above all, a larger than life true story. Biographies for kids make gratifying reads for children as well as the entire family.
Biographies for Kids
Explore these amazing biographies for kids as per the genre that fascinates your kids the most.
Biographies for Kids – Scientists & Mathematicians
Embark on the life journey of the greatest scientist ever – Albert Einstein, with this exciting biography for kids.
Stunning illustrations, easy to understand language make it an edifying read for kids. A perfect introduction to the life of ever-curious Albert Einstein, this book will encourage your kids to believe in the power of imagination and curiosity.
It is suitable for kids 5 years and above.
This highly recommended biography of Dr. Temple Grandin is a great inspiration to achieve against all odds. An uplifting read for all kids, particularly for specially abled children.
Judged for being autistic, Temple Grandin was believed to be far less than ordinary, which she wasn’t She beat all odds to make a name for herself and inspire millions of others with her beautiful mind.
A well-written biography for kids, this book explores the life adventures of Leonardo Fibonacci – the mastermind who found patterns in nature.
From being called a blockhead to having a mathematical series named after him, Leonardo Fibonacci’s biography is truly inspirational.
This wonderfully illustrated picture biography for kids brings to life the story of Marie Tharp – a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.
This book will encourage your kids to persistently follow their dreams. It is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
This is a beautifully written biography of the world’s first black entomologist – Charles Henry Turner. The book details the life and challenges of Charles Turner, who was intrigued by insects and spent his life learning about them.
An inspiring account of persistence and hard work, this biography for kids will leave them spellbound and full of hope.
A great book to introduce diversity and racial prejudices, it is recommended for kids 7 years and above.
Meet Ada Bryon Lovelace – the woman who wrote the world’s first computer program! This vividly written biography of a woman innovator will inspire your kids to follow their creativity and passion.
We absolutely adore this biography series By Brad Meltzer. Fun illustrations, simple text make it relatable for young readers and enthuse them to be heroes themselves.
The biography highlights the key challenges faced by Marie Curie and how she overcame them with determination and perseverance.
The book’s child friendly narration wins hearts and makes it a memorable read. Perfect for kids 5 years and above
This book will introduce your kids to the eccentric mathematician Paul Erdos. Though a genius at math, Paul failed miserably at other tasks.
It is a great reminder for kids (and adults!) to remember their strengths and that no one is good at nearly everything. This is definitely a math book for kids that everyone will cherish.
This book follows the biography of the first African American woman in space – Mae Jemison. Kids will absolutely love this simply narrated biography that packs captivating illustrations.
Perfect for kids 4 years and above.
Indulge your kids in the biography of Mario Molina – a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Accredited for saving the Ozone layer through his discovery of CFCs, Mario is a modern day hero every child in the midst knows about. A great book for kids 6 years and above.
Highly proclaimed and multiple award winner, this book beautifully pens down the challenges of a young African American woman who challenged her place in the male dominated world of engineering and mathematics.
This book leaves you with an important lesson – no matter how many challenges you face, a determined mind and heart can overcome them all.
It is a wonderful STEM book for kids to inspire young girls to break the glass ceiling.
Read the story of the woman who changed the course of history by putting a man on the Moon.
Margret Hamilton hand wrote the code of Apollo 11 – the spaceship that took humankind to space.
Suggested for kids 6 years and above.
Here is a link on “How to Introduce Kids to Coding in Early Years“.
Packed with Gorgeous watercolor illustrations and a compelling tale of Sriniwas Ramanujan, this book is a treat for all math lovers.
This book skillfully relates Ramanujan’s discovery of concepts like partitions and infinite series in a child friendly language.
Suitable for kids 5 years and above.
This book beautifully encapsulates the story of Mary Jackson -the first female African American engineer at NASA!
Fighting the challenges of segregation and sexism, Mary Jackson outdoes herself and on the way inspires millions of blacks and girls to achieve the so-thought impossible.
A great nonfiction picture book for kids, this is a mesmerizing biography for kids, 5 years and above, who are aspiring to be engineers.
This biography for kids is a tell-tale of the life of Stephen Hawking and how he refused to let his illness define his life.
A story of power of mind and determination, this book beautifully describes the life of the great physicist.
Authored by acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter, The Watcher takes its readers on the life journey of Jane Goodall.
Named as the Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education, this book is a must read for every kid.
This is the biography of the first woman to win a grand prize from France’s prestigious Academy of Sciences for her formula, which laid the groundwork for much of the modern architecture.
Sophie, a gifted eighteenth century mathematician, faces gender disparity but is determined to overcome all the challenges.
A great non-fiction book to get your child interested in numbers, this is a must read for everyone interested in mathematics.
For all the dinosaur enthusiasts, this is one biography that is a must read. Uncover the story of Mary Anning – the woman who was the world’s first paleontologist.
Mary’s curiosity drives her to the beach where she takes pleasure in digging shells and bones. And one fateful day she stumbles on dinosaur bones, which lead to the field of fossil study – Paleontology.
Stunning illustrations, easy to understand text makes this nonfiction book for kids an enlightening STEM book. Suitable for kids aged 4 years and above.
“Timeless Thomas” is a beautiful book to introduce children to the history and life of one of the greatest inventors of all time – Thomas Edison.
Many of the modern inventions are contributed to his name. Thomas Edison’s unwavering grit helped him overcome his failures consistently and attain favorable results.
A must read for all creative minds who love tinkering!
Another STEM book for kids that doubles up as a biography for kids. This book introduces kids to an internationally renowned scientist – Carl Sagan, who worked on the Voyager missions, exploring the farthest reaches of space.
Perfect for kids 4 years and above.
This inspiring biography for kids explores the life and journey of Sir Isaac Newton as a famed physicist to an acclaimed mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, philosopher, and inventor as well.
A power packed read, this nonfiction book for kids is suitable for children 8 years and above.
Celebrate the life of Margaret Lowman – called a “Real-life Lorax” by National Geographic. Margaret is a pioneer scientist in her field – Rainforest exploration. She has unearthed many secrets of this unknown world.
From climbing towering tree canopies to facing gender discrimination, Margaret Lowman faced a series of challenges but nothing could deter her spirit. An inspiring read for all girls who dream big and wish to challenge gender norms.
Learn about trailblazing women in STEM who are proving their mettle and are shattering the gender stereotypes like“Boys are better at Math” or “Girls can’t read maps”.
Based on the bestselling book and movie, this picture book for kids introduces young readers to Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.
These African American black women mathematicians helped NASA race its space program and put man in space.
An inspiring read about overcoming challenges, gender & racial barriers, The Hidden Figures celebrates women of colour in STEM. Perfect for children aged 4 years and above.
This non-fiction book for kids is a great introduction to the extraordinary life of Benjamin Franklin.
Considered as one of the founding fathers of America, this biography takes kids on a ride exploring the different aspects of the great leader, innovator, writer and painter.
Young readers, 4 years and above, will find inspiration and gain insights into US colonial history with this fantastic biography for kids.
This charming book brings to life the story of celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor – Dr George Washington Carver and his secret garden.
Born into slavery, Dr Carver works his way to set examples for millions of others like him.
It is a story of triumph and determination that will inspire everyone, not just kids! Apt for kids between 4 to 8 years.
Related: Also check out Dream Big Podcast for kids for a healthy dose of inspiration. It features interviews of world-class performers and achievers and is an one of the Best Podcasts for Kids.
Biographies For Kids – Artists
This beautiful artist biography for kids honors the work of contemporary Japanese artist – Yayoi Kusama, who covered everything in dots!
27. I am Frida Kahlo
Explore the life of the world famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with this beautiful biography for kids.
This astounding artist, who took to painting after surviving a bus crash that left her crippled for life, is known for her unique way of looking at the world and integrating her own image and life into her paintings.
This motivational read inspires its readers to look at the bright side of life and never give up hope. Perfect for kids 5 years and above.
For all the Disney fans, this is a must read as this book explores the enchanting life of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers and entrepreneurs – Walt Disney!
Packed with facts and information, this is an informative read for all kids 7 years and above.
This beautiful read celebrates Coco Chanel – the founder of a leading fashion brand by the same name.
Born poor and orphaned, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was always different. With her creativity and skills, she soon became a fashion icon.
Perfect for instilling self-belief in kids, this artist biography for kids is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
30. Henry’s Scissors
Based on the life of Henri-Emile Matisse, this picture book biography for kids traces the life of Matisse from childhood to later life when he was confined to bed.
Coming from the acclaimed picture book creator Jeanette Winter, this beautiful artist biography is certain to instigate inner creativity. Recommended for kids 5 years and above.
This visually stunning book does a great job in clearly narrating the life of Vincent Van Gogh in a child-friendly manner. It is a great introduction to Van Gogh’s life and work.
Suitable for kids 5 years and above.
A 2007 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year, Through Georgia’s Eyes, celebrates the life journey of acclaimed artist Georgia O’Keeffe.
Lyrical and vivid, this artist biography for kids succeeds at conveying the beauty and intent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and life.
Perfect for kids 5 years and above.
Enter the world of creativity and imagination with a kid friendly biography of Jim Henson – the award-winning writer, director, and puppeteer.
The creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson, loved trying his hand at new things and let his imagination lead him to invent new ways to use puppets in TV Series and movies. It is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
A great narration of Kusama’s life story in a child-appropriate manner, this book is a wonderful addition to a budding artist’s book list. Suitable for kids 4 years and above.
This book illustrates the story of Henri Rousseau, who first began painting when he was 40 years old and is not an artist until he’s 61 years old.
An inspiring read about determination and perseverance, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau encourages its readers to stay true to themselves. Perfect for kids 5 years and above.
“A Life Made by Hand” delves into the life of Japanese-American artist, Ruth Asawa. She is famous for her nature-inspired wire structures and is an inspiration for young girls looking for role models in the world of art.
Magic Trash is an uplifting picture book biography that gives an inspiring introduction to art and community activism.
Tyree Guyton, an urban environmental artist, known for The Heidelberg Project believes in the power of creativity and transforms everyday junk into magic trash to address the issues of recycling, environmentalism, and community empowerment.
Highly recommended, this book is an uplifting read for kids 5 years and above.
37. Action Jackson
This book narrates the story of American artist, Jackson Pollock, when he painted his famous work “Lavender Mist” that is also known as “Number 1, 1950”.
A multiple award winner, this book is a wonderful introduction to the modern art form called ‘Splatter or Action Painting”. Suitable for kids 6 years and above!
Charming and beautifully illustrated, this non-fiction book for kids will give children a peek into the life of an iconic and generous by heart artist – Keith Haring.
Penned by Keith’s sister, it is heartfelt and inspirational tribute to the great artist. Perfect for kids 5 years and above.
This stunning picture biography book for kids is a tribute to the American visual artist – Edward Hopper. It is a story of self-belief, hard work, courage, resilience and the power of dreams.
Young kids have lots to learn from this book, as it will inspire them to give wings to their curiosity and creativity. Apt for kids 5 years and above!
Learn about the life of Andy Warhol – the artist who perhaps started the first pop-art movement and is attributed to blurring the lines between pop culture and art.
Trace the life of the famous painter, sculptor and the greatest artist of all time – Leonardo da Vinci with this informative power packed read.
Designed to capture kid’s attention, this book is a far cry from boring biographies for kids.
Recommended of kids 8 years and above!
42. Sandy’s Circus
A lovely children’s biography of Alexander Calder, “Sandy’s Circus” is a wonderful book to spark creativity and unlock the power of imagination.
Kids (and adults!) love this book for its cute illustrations and simple narrative about the man and his travelling circus. A lovely addition to the book collection of any budding artist, it is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
Biographies For Kids – Kids Who Changed The World
This is an awe-inspiring story of a 14-year-old inventor – William Kamkwamba.
Born into poverty and faced by adversity, William perseveres and builds a windmill to harness the power of wind.
This is a great story of rising above all odds, iron will and grit. Certain to inspire kids and adults alike, this biography for kids is highly recommended. Suitable for kid 6 years and above.
Know more about the Winds and Science Behind it!
Drum Dream girl is a moving tale of Chinese-African-Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who broke the taboo that girls cannot be drummers.
Beautifully illustrated, this child biography for kids will inspire girls and boys to challenge cultural and gender norms in a respectful way. Perfect for kids 4 years and above.
Drawn from the childhood of Malala Yousafzai, Malala’s Magic Pencil is a child friendly narrative suitable for kids 4 years and above.
The book explores the early experiences of Malala and how they influenced her thought process. It is a beautiful, heart-warming tale of determination and extra-ordinary courage. Penned by Malala herself, this nonfiction picture book for kids is a must have.
46. Through My Eyes
Narrated by Ruby Bridges herself, this is a tell-tale of her experiences, as a 6 year old, of the integration process at William Frantz Public School.
Drawing elements from civil rights, Ruby Bridges brings to life the challenges of a little black girl who is chosen to integrate white and black students at a public school. The book gives its readers a wonderful insight into the mind of little Ruby Bridges.
Its vivid narrative grips its readers and leaves them understanding segregation in a new light. Recommended for kids 9 years and above.
Meet Jadav Payeng, popularly known as ‘The Forest Man’ and set off on an inspiring journey of how a child decided to take matters in his own hands and hence planted an entire forest.
Concerned with loss of habitat and deforestation, Jadav Payeng planted trees for over 3 decades to grow a 1300 acres forest of native plants and animals.
This book makes a great read for empowering children about Environment and Earth and how every action counts.
This is an inspiring story of Nobel Prize nominee Greta Thunberg and her fight to save the planet. Suitable for kids 8 years and above, this book will motivate your kids to believe in the power of action.
A true account of Frank Epperson’s journey to invent Popsicle is fascinating from beginning to end. This fun biography for kids will inspire kids to tinker and explore their creative side.
Read about Young Innovators of today and how their inventions are shaping our would.
Set on one of the most inspiring figures of all times, this book promises to bring hope to children and help them see light in the darkest times.
Told in a child friendly manner, this book sheds light on one of the darkest times in human history – Holocaust. Suitable for kids 6 years and above!
Biography for Kids – Leaders
This picture book biography for kids is a perfect introduction to one of the most outstanding leaders of American History – Martin Luther King Jr.
An ideal book to spark a discussion on Civil Rights with kids, A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. pairs captivating illustrations with easy to understand text. A great read for kids 5 years and above.
A Coretta Scott King Honor and Christopher Award-winning picture book, “Before She Was Harriet”, is a lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman.
It’s stunning watercolor illustrations bring the strength and integrity of Harriet Tubman to life, making it a memorable read. Recommended for kids 4 years and above.
Winner of Caldecott Honor Book, Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner, this book is a riveting account of the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of equal voting rights. She was a leader in the civil rights movement.
This poetic biography for kids will leave its readers with a message of hope, determination, and strength. Suitable for older children 10 years and above!
An informative biography for kids to introduce them to one of the greatest leaders of all times – Mahatma Gandhi.
The book traces the life of Gandhi right from childhood to his struggle for Indian independence. Packed with factual information, this is an inspiring read. Perfect for kids 6 years and above.
55. Nelson Mandela
This National Geographic Kids picture book biography for kids is an excellent read for kids 6 years and above.
Nelson Mandela fought against radical discrimination in South Africa and became the first democratically elected president of the country. Detailing the life of this inspiring leader, it motivates children to stand for the right and never be afraid.
Learn about the life of the great woman leader, Margret Thatcher, with this kid friendly biography for kids.
Margret Thatcher was the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom and also the longest serving prime minister in the history of the country. A woman of courage and determination, she was popularly called as the Iron Lady.
Biographies for Kids – Sportspeople
This is a kid friendly biography of Michael Jordan, the greatest basketballer of all time, penned by his mother and sister.
An engaging read, “Salt In His Shoes” inspires its readers to pursue their dreams & passions with determination, hard work and perseverance.
Suitable for kids 4 years and above, it will leave your kids feeling warm and fuzzy from the inside.
Written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, this book brings to life the epic journey of the Williams sisters.
A lovely tribute to the accomplishments of Serena and Venus Williams as the greatest female tennis players of all time, “Sisters and Champions” is one of a kind sports biography for kids. Recommended for children 4 years and above.
Enter the world of Mia Hamm – the world’s most loved women soccer player. Packed with facts and infographics, this sports biography for kids will instill true sportsman spirit in your kids.
A wonderful read for budding athletes, it is recommended for kids 8 years and above.
60. Flying High
“Flying High” is a picture book biography of Olympic gymnast – Simone Biles. It narrates early life experiences of Simone Biles in a lyrical fashion that is certain to captivate the attention of its readers.
Beautifully illustrated, this book gives its readers a peak into challenges faced by Biles on her way to becoming the greatest gymnast ever. Perfect for kids 4 years and above.
This book brings to life the legend of Babe Ruth – the Home run king of baseball. A great sports biography for young baseball fans, this book is suitable for kids 8 years and above.
An inspiring tale of Jackie Robinson and his passion for baseball, this non-fiction book for kids will teach the power of following their dreams and hard work.
Jackie Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball and had to fight racial discrimination to achieve the spot, despite being immensely talented.
A true inspiration for all sports enthusiasts, he changed African-American sports history and bought equality in sports. This book is recommended for kids 5 years and above.
This is a biography of Wilma Rudolph, an American sprinter, who overcame physical barriers to become world-record-holding Olympic champion.
A great lesson on resilience and hard work, this non-fiction book will inspire your kids to overcome challenges to make their dreams come true.
64. Gabby Douglas
Another great sports biography, this book narrates the journey of Gabby Douglas from Virginia to London Olympic Gold.
An inspiring read for budding gymnasts, this book is suitable for kids 7 years and above.
This book will take your kids on a fascinating journey of a small-town girl to becoming a world-class athlete.
Nadia Comaneci received seven perfect scores in gymnastics at 1976 Olympic Games – an unachievable feat that made history.
Beautiful illustrations and kid-friendly narrative makes it a hit with children 6 years and above.
This is a heartwarming sports biography that leaves its readers warm and fuzzy from inside. “Francis and Eddie” is the story of an underdog, Francis Ouimet, an amateur who won the U.S. Open and went on to become a golf champion.
More than anything, it is a tale of an unlikely friendship and conquering odds. Truly inspiring, this biography is suitable for kids 8 years and above.
An excellent biographical novel for kids, “Becoming Muhammad Ali” is a fantastic read about the sports and cultural icon, Muhammad Ali, regarded as the best heavyweight boxer and greatest athlete of 20th century.
A wonderful book to read as a family, it inspires its readers to face their challenges head on and never give up. Engaging and funny, it ranks high on our sports biography for kids. Perfect for kids 8 years and above.
68. Danica Patrick
Learn about the NASCAR driver – Danica Patrick with this fun, easy to read biography for kids. Targeted at a younger audience, 4 years and above, this book lists the early struggles of the auto racer.
A great book about the legendary Kobe Bryant, this sports biography is a must for all basketball fans.
The book traces the life of the basketball superstar from his early life to becoming a sensation. It is suitable for kids 10 years and above.
Florence Griffith Joyner was a three-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter who had set the world records that stand unbeaten even today.
This biography takes its readers on a ride to what made Florence Griffith the champion she became. A beautiful story of persistence and hard work, it will motivate your kids to try harder. Apt for kids 6 years and above.
This is a picture book biography of football legend – Pelé. Starting from nothing to becoming soccer’s first superstar, Pelé’s story is nothing but inspirational.
A treat for eyes, this beautifully illustrated sports biography for kids narrates the struggles of young Pelé and his fight with adversity. Recommended for kids 4 years and above.
“Surfer of the Century” is a beautiful, inspiring tale of legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku. A six time Olympic winner, Duke took surfboarding to the next level.
Credited with introducing the sport to Australia, East & West Coast of Australia, Duke is the father of modern surfing. This biography for kids not just entails his tremendous feats at surfing but also celebrates his modesty, sportsmanship, humility and love for the ocean.
Beautifully illustrated, this is a great read for kids 7 years and above. Highly recommended!
This motivational biography for kids lists Dr. Sammy Lee’s accomplishments in the most beautiful and heartwarming way.
Sammy Lee, a Korean- American, faced racial discrimination but beat all odds to become an Olympian diver. Not only that, he also fulfilled his father’s dream of becoming a doctor.
His story delivers a much-needed lesson in perseverance and changing dreams against all odds. Perfect for adults and kids 6 years and above.
Beautifully illustrated, “Messi: A Boy Who Became A Star”, is a delight to read for all soccer fans. The book is inspiring and lists numerous challenges that Messi faced before he became the superstar.
Perfect to teach the value of hard work and persistence, this book is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
75. Kid Athletes
If you are looking for one book that lists short, childhood biographies of sports legends, “Kid Athletes” is the book for you.
Colourful illustrations coupled with just enough details about the childhood of those who made it big in sports, this book will help your children see how the now famous athletes were kids just like them. Suitable for kids 7 years and above.
What an inspiring read! This sports biography for kids will leave your kids with a life-changing message – Nothing is Impossible!
William Hoy loved baseball and was deaf! But being deaf did not stop William Hoy. When he could not secure a place in deaf baseball team, he worked harder to get a position on a professional baseball team.
And if that wasn’t enough, he changed how the game was played forever by asking the umpire to use hand signals in the game.
Biographies for Kids – Ordinary People Who Changed The World
This is the story of mountain man – Dashrath Manjhi who single-handedly carved a path of 110 m long, 9.1 m wide and 7.7 m deep through a ridge of hills using only a hammer and chisel.
A true story of grit & determination, it gives hope that anyone can make a difference if they set their hearts to it. Great read for kids 5 years and above.
If being ordinary and trying to make a difference is a challenge, then imagine what it is to be specially-abled and trying to change the world?
True story of Ofosu Yeboah, it is a beautiful inspiring tale of achieving the extraordinary! Ofosu Yeboah was born in Ghana with a deformed leg.
But that did not stop him from doing everything other kids did and eventually cycled 400 miles across Ghana to spread his powerful message: disability is not inability. Certain to inspire everyone, this book is highly recommended for kids 4 years and above.
This biography for kids is a true story of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai. It is a wonderful non-fiction book about an ordinary woman who decides to bring about change.
Growing up, Wangari was always surrounded by trees. But when she returned home after many years, she was shocked to see them all gone. Realising she needs to act fast, Wangari starts with planting seeds in her backyard to bring about a wonderful change.
This book delivers a strong message of standing up for what you believe is right even in the phase of adversity. Sure to invite thoughtful conversations with your child, it is apt for kids 4 years and above.
Winner of Schneider Family Book Award Young Children’s Honor Book, “All the Way to The Top” is the true account of Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins and her participation in the Capitol Crawl.
Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins never believed that her wheelchair could slow her down and when the Americans with Disabilities Act was proposed to the congress, she showed it to the world by climbing the steps of the Capitol building, without her wheelchair!
A heart-warming book on social justice and activism, this picture book biography for kids is suitable for kids 4 years and above.
81. I am Rosa Parks
A great story about how ordinary people can change the world, “I am Rosa Parks” inspires its readers to stand up for the right.
Rosa Parks was an ordinary black woman till she decided enough was enough and stood up for her rights. And in course, stirred a movement – Montgomery Bus Boycott! She is known as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of freedom movement”.
“I am Rosa Parks” is a wonderful nonfiction picture book for kids 5 years and above.
“The Oldest student” is a biography of Mary Walker, a black woman who learned to read at the age of 116 years.
Born into slavery, she was not allowed to read. Throughout her life, Mary did numerous jobs but nothing could dampen her urge to learn to read. Finally, her chance came and she became the oldest student of America by learning to read at the age of 116 years.
This is a story of perseverance and belief that you are never too old to learn and to chase your dreams. Perfect for kids 4 years and above.
“Pies From Nowhere” is an extraordinary nonfiction picture book for kids that celebrates an unsung hero – Georgia Gilmore. She played an instrumental role in raising funds to sustain Montgomery Bus Boycott.
This stunningly illustrated book brings to life the hidden figure of the Civil Rights movement and beautifully portrays how one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. Kids 6 years and above will thoroughly enjoy the book.
This is a story of Audrey Faye Hendricks – the youngest marcher for the civil rights movement known to be arrested. Even at a young age of just 9 years, she knew her rights and was determined & fearless to stand up for them.
A true tale of determination and belief, this biography for kids highlights the history of segregation laws and brings out a beautiful message. Just right for kids 5 years and above.
A wonderful biography for kids, The Power of Her Pen brings to life the character of Ethel Payne. Always fascinated with stories, Ethel sought justice and equality with her reporting right from her school days.
Later, she started reporting for World War II that eventually led to the White House briefing room. Even as the only black woman journalist in the room, she was fearless!
Known as the First Lady of the Black Press, Ethel Payne broke barriers and thus opened doors for other black female journalists.
Beautiful illustrations and a powerful story narration, makes it a must read for kids 4 years and above.
This picture book biography for kids celebrates Carter G. Woodson – the founder of Black History Month.
Carter G. Woodson spent his life introducing other people to inspiring stories of African-American people. Thus, in a way, changing the view people viewed African American history.
As a young boy, Carter loved reading the newspaper and sharing what he learned with his illiterate father. When he went on to work in coal mines, he started reading to other miners and influencing them with the stories of greatness of his people.
With time, Carter got deeply interested in the stories of the unsung black heroes and made it his life mission to bring these stories to life to inspire people.
This book is a great introduction to Crater’s life and how Black History Month came into being.
Recommended for kids 6 years and above.
This is a moving biography of Mumbet – a slave and her quest for her freedom. Her determination and conviction set milestones on ending slavery in the United States.
When Mumbet heard about the Declaration of Independence, she truly believed in what it said – All men are born equal & free. She got really inspired as she always dreamt of her freedom from slavery.
But who would help a slave? Determined and convinced with her belief, she approached a lawyer, Theodore Sedgwick, who helped her earn her freedom.
A thought provoking book, this one beautifully conveys the struggle of an enslaved woman and her inner strength & belief to be free. This valuable read is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
True-life account of Effa Manley, the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, this book will inspire your little girls to be whoever they want.
Effa Manley changed how people believed that women had no place in baseball and went on to become the proud owner of the Newark Eagles. A beautiful read for kids 4 years and above.
89. Fly High
Fly High is the story of Bessie Coleman, a woman of color, who became the first African-American to earn a pilot’s license. Born into a poor family, Bessie worked hard to achieve her dreams.
Even as a little girl working in cotton fields, Bessie knew what her heart longed for – to be someone significant. Working for her dreams, she tried to learn everything she could in her adverse circumstances.
Chasing her dreams, she worked hard & persisted till she became somebody – the first African American woman pilot. Recommended for kids 9 years and above
Biography of Susan B. Anthony, this book takes its readers on Susan’s journey from becoming a suffragette — a fighter for women’s equality to getting arrested for voting!
Susan’s work was instrumental in the 19th Amendment to American Constitution that finally gave women the right to vote. Inspiring read for budding activists, this book is suitable for kids 4 years and above.
This nonfiction picture book for kids is a biography of Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross Clarissa “Clara” Barton.
Clara accomplished many milestones in her life. She started as a shy girl who became the first woman to hold a government job! Later, she was appointed “lady in charge” of the hospitals where she helped soldiers wounded in battle.
It was at this designation, she became to be known as the “Angel of the Battlefield”. Her compassion and empathy inspired her to found American Red Cross. A great read for kids 8 years and above.
92. I Am Sacagawea
Discover the life story of Sacagawea – the woman immortalised on the golden dollar coin. The brave woman was merely 16 years old when she undertook one of the most remarkable journeys – The Lewis and Clark expedition.
Traveling 4500 miles by foot, canoe, and horse, she trekked across America while carrying a baby on her back!
A thrilling read about this trailblazer, “I am Sacagawea” is perfect for kids 8 years and above.
This is an inspiring tale of Isatou Ceesay who started the recycling movement in Gambia.
Appalled at the sight of garbage created by plastic bags, this strong woman decided to recycle plastic bags into something useful like coin bags and purses.
It is a great story that will motivate kids to identify problems and come up with creative solutions to address it. Recommended for kids 5 years and above.
Biographies for Kids – Kings & Queens
Learn all about the great King Alexander and his conquests with this wonderful nonfiction picture book for kids. It is a great read for kids, 8 years and above, who wish to learn about this exemplary king.
Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC in Macedon and grew up to become one of the greatest rulers of all times. He conquered nearly most of the world known at that time and was well known for his sharp skills.
Enter the mystical world of Egypt with this informative biography of Hatshepsut. A stunning true story of a master politician and a supreme stateswoman, Hatshepsut rose to power to rule ancient Egypt.
Hatshepsut was an exception at her time in the patriarch society of Egypt. She even donned a fake beard and dressed as a male! Portrayed as a male in the Egyptian artwork of the time, she ruled the country for decades.
The book packs much information about the early life of this woman Pharaoh, her rise to throne and attempts to erase her memory. Perfect for kids 8 years and above.
This nonfiction picture book for kids explores the truth behind stories surrounding the life of the epic ruler – Genghis Khan.
This revered ruler conquered most of Asia and created the Mongol Empire. Born to a nomadic family of early Mongolia, Genghis Khan used his warrior skills to become one of the most feared warriors.
Suitable for kids 8 years and above, this book packs pictures of artwork on the great Khan and follows an easy to understand language.
Children 8 years and above will love this historical biography of the infamous Roman dictator.
Julius Caesar was not only a brave warrior but also an astute politician. Born in 100 BC, he quickly rose to power and pronounced himself the dictator of Rome. He earned many friends and foes on his way to throne and was eventually assassinated by a group of senators.
This nonfiction picture book gives kids insight into the life, times and career of King Tutankhamen.
King Tut, the Egyptian pharaoh, worked to re-establish the friendships with surrounding nations that his father had ignored. He often disagreed with his father’s policies.
It is believed that many took advantage of the young king and influenced his decision-making.
The book gives a good understanding about the boy king’s early life, his reign as a pharaoh and his death in an easy to understand language. Suitable for kids 9 years and above.
Mary, Queen of Scots is a history biography for kids that details the life of Queen Mary in a humorous way.
Learn all about the life of the Queen of Scotland from her childhood to her marriage into French Royal family.
This thrilling biography shares details of Mary’s early life, right from age one to her scintillating escape from Scotland.
Loaded with facts, comic strips and ghastly bits, this book is apt for kids 8 years and above.
Explore the true-life story of Empress Matilda -the first woman to claim the throne of England in her own right. She was born in 1102 to King Henry of England and Queen Edith Matilda of Scotland.
Post the 1120 White Ship Disaster, Matilda became the only surviving child of her parents and heiress to the English throne. Interesting and well written, this historical biography is suited for kids 12 years and above.
This historical biography for kids is a miraculous account of Elizabeth I’s life. The book captures the rise of Elizabeth to power and becoming one of the most respected queens of England.
Elizabeth was disowned by her father, king Henry VIII. But the parliament reinstated her status and put her in line to succession after her half-brother and half-sister.
Learning much from the mistakes of her successors, Elizabeth ruled England with dignity and grace for 44 years.
A must read for anyone interested in learning about the life of the great ruler, this illustrated book is well suited for kids 8 years and above.
“The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen” is a biography about Egypt’s last and most famous pharaoh – Cleopatra.
Crowned pharaoh at a young age of 17 years, Cleopatra was a savvy negotiator who kept her enemies at bay and forged alliances that kept her in power.
The book addresses many of the myths surrounding Cleopatra and lists facts about the mighty ruler in a child friendly manner. Recommended for kids 10 years and above.
Advantages of Reading Biographies To Kids
1. Biographies Make History Come Alive
Reading history textbooks can be boring and far from an enriching experience. Biographies for kids, on the other hand, bring true-stories to life with their impressive narrative, captivating illustrations and easy to understand language.
2. Great for Teaching Empathy & Compassion
Biographies for kids open children’s mind to witness someone’s story through a perspective different than theirs.
They help kids see the world through the eyes of the protagonist and understand the challenges they personally might not have encountered. It encourages them find inspiration and a way to overcome their similar adversities.
3. Biographies Are An Inspiration Tool
Nothing can be more inspiring than reading about the life journey of a real hero and learning about the challenges they faced.
Instead of just dwelling on the success of real-life heroes, biographies take their readers through their life ordeals and adversities they faced. Thus, helping children find true inspiration and teaching them valuable life lessons like perseverance, hard work and determination.
4. Instrumental In Building Self-Belief
Learning about real life challenges of people they admire, gives children a positive self-belief and encourages them to persist and be resilient. Biographies aspire kids to believe in the power of their dreams and give them hope of bringing their ideas/dreams to life.
5. Biographies Offer Perspective
Biographies offer a wonderful way to build and widen your child’s perspective way beyond the age. These books take their readers on a time travel to another era and culture, thus helping them understand the world from a different view.
With so much to offer, it is almost imperative to add this genre to your child’s reading routine. But that should not get you overzealous with biographies for kids.
As much as they have to offer, you should tread with care with biographies. Your child’s age and interest should be the guiding force.
If your child fancies art, choose a biography of a famous artist. And if your child loves to follow the footsteps of his friends, choose a title from ordinary kids who changed the world.
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