- Thomas Carlyle
There is so much that can be gleaned from reading a good biography. When a child can connect with the subject they can be inspired and influenced by the subject's life story. The best biographies for children bring the subject to life and tells the story and history in an accessible manner.
When I was an elementary student I read every book in the Childhood of Famous Americans series that my elementary school library had. I love this series still today and count it as one of the most influential series I have read. The stories are accessible for young a reader, and relay the early life of famous American men and women, adding fictionalized details but staying true to the events and character of the subject. Sadly, many of these are no longer in print, however there are still quite a few that you can find at libraries, used books sales, or a handful that do remain in print.
This past weekend I stumbled upon a used books sale and found 4 copies of the 1960's printing version (all out of print)! I proudly unpacked my two bags of books (I found many things I had to have) and showed them all proudly to my spouse. He just kept nodding his head and looking at me with the look of "I don't get it", until he finally said "Do you really think we need more books here?"
Which I must add is a good question since we are in the process of packing and moving.
The one that stayed with the most was the story of Liliuokalani: Young Hawaiian Queen.
Long out of print, but the story of the young Hawaiian queen and her childhood in Hawaii captivated me and was the beginning of my love of all things Hawaiian.
I still could tell you bits and pieces of the lives of these famous American children today. I particularly loved the stories of the young girls. They were so inspiring!
I can't stress enough how much I recommend these books. The blue covers are still in print. Grab one today and read with your child, or pass along to them to read.
A great listing of titles, organized by eras can be found on the blog Paula's archives:
Childhood of Famous Americans by Era