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100+ Beautiful Biographies Your Kids Will Love

First of all, I find biographies to be fascinating…especially biographies written for kids.  Biographies for kids are so informative and honest without being graphic and the illustrations are usually amazing in these books.
 
People’s stories fascinate me.  I love listening to my dad’s stories from Vietnam, and I could sit and listen for hours.  I love my uncle’s stories too.  He’s had an amazing life and met tons of famous people…can you say Eric Clapton in an empty bar??
 
The world is full of amazing people whose stories deserve to be shared and loved and the fact that there’s a whole library of biographies for kids is just the best thing. Because I don’t believe all biographies for kids are created equal–some are rather dry if you ask me–I’ve made a huge list of our favorites.
 
I love biographies for kids and I feel that they've come a long way in the last several years from the dry, boring books they used to be. This post is a huge list of categorized biographies for kids that you will love!
Finally, choose a category and fill up your library request list! So many amazing stories to be read and shared! Enjoy, friend.
 

73 95 100+ Biographies for Kids

This post was originally posted in 2014 with 73 biographies and there been TONS more biographies for kids published since then. As I added to our library, I updated this post again in 2018. I gave this post a THIRD revision in 2020 to add in even more amazing biographies for kids! Here’s the updated list, categorized for easy searching and saving.

Biographies for Kids: Scientists + Mathematicians to Admire

  1. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbably Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman

2. Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne

3. The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

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4. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

5.  Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone

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6. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown

7. Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit up the World by Elizabeth Rusch

8. Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed our Lives by Gene Berretta

9. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

10.On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

11. Summer birds: the Butterflies of Maria Marion by Margarita Engle

12. Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese

13. The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of James John Audubon by Jacqueline Davies

14. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

15. Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully

16. Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman

17. Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh

Artists + Musicians to Learn About

20. When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan

21. Mr Cornell’s Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter

22. Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuoso by Andrea Pinkney

23. The Iridescence of Birds: Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLaughlan

24. A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant

25. Duke Ellington: the Piano Prince and his Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney

26. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

27. Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter

28. Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

29. Viva Frieda by Yuyi Morales

30. Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home by Barb Rosenstock

31. Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle

Biographies for Kids: Heroes from History

29. Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman

30. To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport

31. The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candice Fleming

32. Amelia lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candice Fleming

33. The Lincoln’s: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming

34. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

35. What to do about Alice? by Barbara Kerley

36. Elizabeth Leads the Way by Tanya Lee Stone

37. Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley

38. Leif the Lucky by Ingri Daulaire

39. Columbus by Ingri Daulaire

40. Pocahontas by Ingri Daulaire

41. George Washington by Ingri Daulaire

42. Benjamin Franklin by Ingri Daulaire

43. Buffalo Bill by Ingri Daulaire

44. Abraham Lincoln by Ingri Daulaire

45. Bard of Avon:William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley

46. Leonardo Davinci by Diane Stanley

47. Good Queen Bess by Dianne Stanley

48. Peter the Great by Dianne Stanley

49. Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

50. Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick

51. Joan of Arc: Warrior Saint by Jay Williams

52. Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock

53. Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta

54. Eleanor by Barbara Cooney

55. A Boy Named FDR by Kathleen Krull

56. Alexander the Great by John Gunther

57. George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster

58. The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster

59. The World of Christopher Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster

60. Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster

61. Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster

62. Louis and Clark: Explorer’s of the American West by Steven Kroll

63. Encounter by Jane Yolen

64. Picture Book of Daniel Boone by David Adler

65. The Secret Subway by Shana Corey

66. Abraham by Frank Keating

67. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

68. Brave Clara Barton by Frank Murphy

69. Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown

70. The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara E. Walsh

71. First Mothers by Beverly Gherman

72. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford

73. Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss

74. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson

Biographies about Writers

79. The Boy on Fairfield street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Suess by Kathleen Krull

80. Louisa: the Life of Louisa May Alcott by Yona Zeldis McDonough

82. Noah Webster and his Words by Jeri Chase Ferris

81. Going Solo by Roald Dahl

83. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

84. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

85. The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by Lesa Cline-Ransome

86. Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel

87. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai 

Biographies for Kids About Amazing Athletes

88. Ali an American Champion by Barry Denenburg

89. Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick

91. The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin

92. Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf  by Nancy Churnin

Too Cool for Categories: Everyday Folks Who Made a Extraordinary Impact

94. Mr. Ferris and his Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis

95. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

96. The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki

97. The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure

98. The Great and Only Barnum by Candice Fleming

99. Bon appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Childs by Jessie Hartland

100. Daredevil: the Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Meghan Macarthy

101. Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi

102. Here come the Girl Scouts by Shana Correy

103. The Man who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gernstein

104. Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

105. Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo

106. Manjhi Moves a Mountain

107. Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

108. Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God 

109.Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito

110. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

My hope is that, as a result of this big ol’ list, you and your children will discover amazing people whose stories should be continued to be shared. Most of all, I want my kids to know that reading and continuing to read will keep expanding their world!

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I love biographies for kids and I feel that they've come a long way in the last several years from the dry, boring books they used to be. This post is a huge list of categorized biographies for kids that you will love!

23 Comments

  1. Great list!

    Additional picture book biographies that we’ve enjoyed:
    Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects by Matthew Clark Smith
    The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock
    Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating
    Pippo the Fool by Tracey Fern

  2. This list is fantastic! I order the biographies for our library and we were missing several of these. You know it’s a good list when the library already has most of the books and they are regularly checked out!

  3. This looks like an awesome list! However please note that Rosie Revere Engineer is NOT a biography. It’s a wonderful book about a little girl who wants to be an engineer, but it is NOT about Rosie the Riveter. There is an implication that the character’s great great aunt is the riveter but this is not a biography.
    Thank you very much for this list, it’s super helpful!

  4. This is a goldmine! Thanks so much for compiling this list Alicia! My little bookworm will thank you for this.
    xo emily

  5. My daughter's class does a book report a month. She has done mysteries, but this month she will be reading the story of olympic gymnast Shaun Johnson. Callie is a gymnast as well (a newcomer)and I love that she will be reading about one of her heroes. You have compiled a great list. Makes me truly miss teaching reading.

  6. Oh how I nerdily love this list! My girls have been reading a lot of biographies about people in the Revolutionary War and they have been loving them! Hooray for raising future biography nerds!!

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