Biographies

Sometimes the best stories are the true ones. Our list of the best biographies for young readers includes nostalgic holiday tales, inspiring stories about people standing up for their rights, profiles of overlooked witnesses to history, and more.

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Jazzy bio of Josephine Baker inspiring, bittersweet.
By Jonah Winter
(2012)
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Spectacular illustrations spotlight Parks' historic protest.
By Nikki Giovanni
(2006)
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Fascinating bio of remarkable 19th-century female inventor.
By Laurie Wallmark
(2016)
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Artful, relatable bio offers intro to photographer's work.
By Cindy Jenson-Elliott
(2016)
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JFK
Inspiring biography has bold, realistic artwork.
By Jonah Winter
(2013)
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Award-winning picture-book treatment of Tubman.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2007)
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Powerful bio of Abraham Lincoln uses his own words.
By Frank Keating
(2016)
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Lovely, poignant look at key moment in Indian history.
By Alice B. McGinty
(2013)
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Inspiring bio of Supreme Court justice empowers girls.
By Debbie Levy
(2016)
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Engaging, inspiring bio of jazz great has superb art.
By Katheryn Russell-Brown
(2015)
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Stellar art portrays key aspects of Mandela's life for kids.
By Kadir Nelson
(2013)
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Exuberant bio celebrates artist who had success when young.
By Javaka Steptoe
(2017)
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Charming pictures, story make the King relatable to kids.
By Bonnie Christensen
(2015)
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Beautifully illustrated bio of abolition's greatest hero.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2017)
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Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.
By Brad Meltzer
(2016)
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Solid intro to singer, movie star, civil rights activist.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2017)
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Engaging picture-book intro to word-loving thesaurus author.
By Jen Bryant
(2014)
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Exciting bio of '20s female pilot who found fame with stunt.
By Tami Lewis Brown
(2012)
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Compelling bio of African-American heart surgery innovator.
By Gwendolyn Hooks
(2016)
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Engrossing Houdini bio by kids' author/magician.
By Sid Fleischman
(2007)
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Inspirational and informative intro to an American hero.
By Ann Turner
(2015)
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Picture book offers inspiring bios of Latino Americans.
By Juan Felipe Herrera
(2014)
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Artful profiles of groundbreakers are fresh, inspiring.
By Kate Schatz
(2015)
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Enchanting illustrated bio of "Charlotte's Web" author.
By Melissa Sweet
(2016)
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An evenly presented Lindbergh biography.
By James Cross Giblin
(2003)
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Gripping nonfiction graphic novel brings Old West to life.
By Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick L. McKissack
(2012)
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Captivating biography of legendary showman Buffalo Bill.
By Andrea Warren
(2015)
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Riveting biography of beloved folk singer, activist.
By Anita Silvey
(2016)
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The way biographies for children ought to be done.
By Candace Fleming
(2008)
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Lively, thought-provoking look at showman and his era.
By Candace Fleming
(2016)
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Thoughtful, moving biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.
By Russell Freedman
(2003)
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Incredible history of five slaves of the Founding Fathers.
By Kenneth C. Davis
(2016)
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Fictionalized bio in verse a great intro to Plath's poetry.
By Stephanie Hemphill
(2008)
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Brutal but moving bio-in-verse is best for teens.
By Margarita Engle
(2008)
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Other great lists from our editors