Special Collections

Who Was? A Series of Biographies for Kids

Description: This series tells the incredible stories of trailblazers, legends, innovators, and creators. Explore this non-fiction collection of biographies written especially for children. #kids #series


Showing 101 through 125 of 138 results

Who Was Bruce Lee?

by Nancy Harrison and John Hinderliter and Jim Gigliotti

Bruce Lee was a Chinese American action film star, martial arts instructor, filmmaker, and philosopher. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim. Through such films as Way of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon, Lee helped to change the way Asians were presented in American films and, in the process, he became an iconic figure known throughout the world. Although he died at the young age of 32, Bruce Lee is widely considered to be the one of the most influential martial artists of all time.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Charles Darwin?

by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Harrison

As a young boy, Charles Darwin hated school and was often scolded for conducting "useless" experiments. Yet his passion for the natural world was so strong that he suffered through terrible seasickness during his five-year voyage aboard The Beagle. Darwin collected new creatures from the coasts of Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands, and expanded his groundbreaking ideas that would change people's understanding of the natural world.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt?

by Gare Thompson and Nancy Harrison

For a long time, the main role of First Ladies was to act as hostesses of the White House...until Eleanor Roosevelt. Born in 1884, Eleanor was not satisfied to just be a glorified hostess for her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Eleanor had a voice, and she used it to speak up against poverty and racism. She had experience and knowledge of many issues, and fought for laws to help the less fortunate. She had passion, energy, and a way of speaking that made people listen, and she used these gifts to campaign for her husband and get him elected president-four times! A fascinating historical figure in her own right, Eleanor Roosevelt changed the role of First Lady forever.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Isaac Newton?

by Nancy Harrison and Janet Pascal and Tim Foley

Isaac Newton was always a loner, preferring to spend his time contemplating the mysteries of the universe. When the plague broke out in London in 1665 he was forced to return home from college. It was during this period of so much death, that Newton gave life to some of the most important theories in modern science, including gravity and the laws of motion.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Clara Barton?

by Stephanie Spinner and David Groff

Clarissa "Clara" Barton was a shy girl who grew up to become a teacher, nurse, and humanitarian. At a time when few women worked outside the home, she became the first woman to hold a government job, as a patent clerk in Washington, DC. In 1864, she was appointed "lady in charge" of the hospitals at the front lines of the Union Army, where she became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield." Clara Barton built a career helping others. She went on to found the American Red Cross, one of her greatest accomplishments, and one of the most recognized organizations in the world.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Blackbeard?

by Nancy Harrison and James Buckley

Though much of his early life remains a mystery, Blackbeard most likely began his life as Edward Teach in the sailing port of Bristol, England. He began his career as a hired British sailor during Queen Anne's War. He eventually settled in the Bahamas under Captain Benjamin Hornigold who taught the young sailor to go "a-pirating." Soon enough, Blackbeard was commanding his own fleet and stealing ships around the Caribbean and up and down the Eastern seaboard. Known for his thick, black beard and fearsome reputation, the legend of Blackbeard has influenced pirate legend and lore for over 300 years.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Sitting Bull?

by Stephanie Spinner and Nancy Harrison and Jim Eldridge

No one knew the boy they called "Jumping Badger" would grow to become a great leader. Born on the banks of the Yellowstone River, Sitting Bull, as he was later called, was tribal chief and holy man of the Lakota Sioux tribe in a time of fierce conflict with the United States. As the government seized Native American lands, Sitting Bull relied on his military cunning and strong spirituality to drive forces out of his territory and ensure a future homeland for his people.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Sacagawea?

by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin and Nancy Harrison and Val Paul Taylor

Sacagawea was only sixteen when she made one of the most remarkable journeys in American history, traveling 4500 miles by foot, canoe, and horse-all while carrying a baby on her back! Without her, the Lewis and Clark expedition might have failed. Through this engaging book, kids will understand the reasons that today, 200 years later, she is still remembered and immortalized on a new golden dollar coin.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Winston Churchill?

by Nancy Harrison and Jerry Hoare and Ellen Labrecque

Born into aristocracy, Churchill cut his teeth as a young army officer in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He rose in the ranks to First Lord of the Admiralty and was a staunch opponent of the encroaching German Nazis. Churchill served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?

by Michael Burgan and Nancy Harrison and Jerry Hoare

He was only 42 years old when he was sworn in as President of the United States in 1901, making TR the youngest president ever. But did you know that he was also the first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize? The first to ride in a car? The first to fly in an airplane? Theodore Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, hunter, explorer, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician. Find out more about The Bull Moose, the Progressive, the Rough Rider, the Trust Buster, and the Great Hunter who was our larger-than-life 26th president in Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Queen Victoria?

by Nancy Harrison and Max Hergenrother and Jim Gigliotti

Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian Era, a period of industrial, cultural, scientific, and political change that was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. But Victoria was raised under close supervision and near isolation until she became Queen of the United Kingdom at the young age of 18. She married her first cousin, Albert, and had nine children who married into families across Europe. By the time she had earned the nickname "The Grandmother of Europe" and the title "Empress of India" it was indeed true that the sun never set on the British Empire. Publicly, she became a national icon, but privately, Who Was Queen Victoria?

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Lucille Ball?

by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Gregory Copeland

Who doesn't love Lucy? The legendary actress, producer, and comedian steps into the Who Was? spotlight.Much like her hit TV show, I Love Lucy, Americans in the 1950s fell in love with Lucy. Born in New York in 1911, Lucille Ball was always a natural performer. She danced in the chorus of Broadway shows and acted in small parts in Hollywood movies. But Ball's true gift was comedy. She found a way to showcase her gifts in 1951 when CBS gave her the chance to star in a sitcom. She based the show on her life and called it I Love Lucy. Over sixty years later, it is still one of the most loved television shows of all time. Lucille Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu, and her comedic genius has kept people laughing for generations.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Jesus?

by Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi and Ellen Morgan

This fascinating addition to the best-selling Who Was. . . ' series does not settle questions of theology. Instead, it presents young readers with a biography that covers what is known historically about Jesus and places in his life in the context of his world when Jerusalem was part of the Roman Empire. In an even-handed and easy-to-read narrative, this title—illustrated with eighty black-and-white drawings—also explains the early origins of Christianity and how it became a major religion.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Johnny Appleseed?

by Joan Holub and Anna Divito

The perfect biography to "bite into" at the start of a new school year! Children are sure to be fascinated by the eccentric and legendary Johnny Appleseed, a man who is best known for bringing apple trees to the midwest. Over John Chapman's lifetime, he saw the country grow and start to spread westward. Traveling alone-- in bare feet and sporting a pot on his head!--Johnny left his own special mark planting orchards that helped nourish new communities. His journeys and adventures are illustrated in a hundred black-and-white illustrations.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was George Washington?

by Roberta Edwards and True Kelley and Nancy Harrison

In 1789, George Washington became the first president of the United States. He has been called the father of our country for leading America through its early years.

Washington also served in two major wars during his lifetime: the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. With over 100 black-and-white illustrations, Washington's fascinating story comes to life - revealing the real man, not just the face on the dollar bill!

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Jacques Cousteau?

by Nico Medina and Nancy Harrison and Dede Putra

Jacques Cousteau is the most famous and beloved name in the world of deep-sea exploration. Cousteau discovered his passion in 1938, when he first used a pair of goggles to dive off the coast of France. During his time as a French naval officer, he carried out many deep-sea experiments and improved upon early diving equipment. Soon, Cousteau began filming his underwater excursions and offering the world a glimpse below the surface. The documentary television series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau made the man, his work, and his red cap famous throughout the world.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Sally Ride?

by Megan Stine

In 1978, Sally Ride, a PhD candidate at Standford University, responded to a newspaper ad to join the US astronaut program. She was accepted and became the first American woman astronaut to fly in space! Among her other accomplishments, she played tennis like a professional, was an astrophysicist who helped develop a robotic arm for space shuttles, and later, through Sally Ride Science, worked to make science cool and accessible for girls. Sally Ride, who died on July 23, 2012, will continue to inspire young children.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Seabiscuit?

by James Buckley and Gregory Copeland

In the middle of the worst depression in U.S. history, one young racehorse lifted a nation's spirits. Seabiscuit was born in 1933 on a farm in Kentucky. Though bred for racing, he was weak and undersized. He slept too long and ate too much. Against the odds, he began to win local races. He was given a new coach who trained him to race in larger circuits. Soon enough, this scrappy horse began beating the best racehorses in the country. He became a media darling and won national competitions. In 1938 he was voted U.S. Horse of the Year. Seabiscuit's undying spirit and come-from-behind story made him a celebrity and hero for millions.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Jesse Owens?

by James Buckley and Gregory Copeland

At the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, track and field star Jesse Owens ran himself straight into international glory by winning four gold medals. But the life of Jesse Owens is much more than a sports story. Born in rural Alabama under the oppressive Jim Crow laws, Owens's family suffered many hardships. As a boy he worked several jobs like delivering groceries and working in a shoe repair shop to make ends meet. But Owens defied the odds to become a sensational student athlete, eventually running track for Ohio State. He was chosen to compete in the Summer Olympics in Nazi Germany where Adolf Hitler was promoting the idea of "Aryan superiority." Owens's winning streak at the games humiliated Hitler and crushed the myth of racial supremacy once and for all.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Maurice Sendak?

by Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi and Janet Pascal

It seems entirely fitting that Maurice Sendak was born on the same day that Mickey Mouse first made his cartoon debut--June 10, 1928. Sendak was crazy about cartoons and comic books, and at twelve, after seeing Disney's Fantasia, he decided that he was going to become an illustrator. His love of childrens books began early: often sick and confined to bed, little Maurice read and read and read. Though many of his own stories were light and funny, the most important ones--Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There--dealt with anger, jealousy, abandonment, content that had never before been the subject of picture books. As well as covering career highlights, this easy to read, illustrated biography also describes the personal life of this genius. Who Was Maurice Sendak is perfect for kids wild about one of the most influential children's book artists of the twentieth century!

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Maya Angelou?

by Nancy Harrison and Dede Putra and Ellen Labrecque

Born in Missouri in 1928, Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood. Jim Crow laws segregated blacks and whites in the South. Her family life was unstable at times. But much like her poem, "Still I Rise," Angelou was able to lift herself out of her situation and flourish. She moved to California and became the first black--and first female--streetcar operator before following her interest in dance. She became a professional performer in her twenties and toured the U.S. and Europe as an opera star and calypso dancer. But Angelou's writing became her defining talent. Her poems and books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, brought her international acclaim.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Annie Oakley?

by Stephanie Spinner and Nancy Harrison and Larry Day

You want girl power? Meet Annie Oakley! Born in 1860, she became one of the best-loved and most famous women of her generation. She amazed audiences all over the world with her sharpshooting, horse-riding, action-packed performances. In an age when most women stayed home, she traveled the world and forged a new image for American women.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Robert Ripley?

by Nancy Harrison and Kirsten Anderson and Tim Foley

Enter a world of shrunken heads, mystic holy men, shriveled aliens, and bizarre relics in the delightfully odd tale of Robert Ripley. Born in California, Ripley began his career as a sports cartoonist. He went on to chronicle global records and oddities in his weekly column, Believe It Or Not! After publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst took an interest in the column, it became a syndicated global success. Ripley spent his life traveling to more than 200 countries in search of strange objects and interesting facts. His penchant for the peculiar launched an entertainment empire, and his collection of artifacts can be seen worldwide at his famous Odditoriums. Believe It Or Not!

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Paul Revere?

by John Harrison and Edwards O'Brien and Nancy Roberta

In 1775, Paul Revere of Boston made his now-famous horseback ride warning colonists of an impending attack by the British. This event went largely unnoticed in history until Longfellow celebrated it in a poem in 1861. So who was Paul Revere? In addition to being an American patriot, he was a skilled silversmith and made false teeth from hippo tusks! This biography, with black-and-white illustrations throughout, brings to life Paul Revere's thrilling ride as well as the personal side of the man and the exciting times in which he lived. .

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Abigail Adams?

by True Kelley and John O'Brien

Abigail Adams was a strong woman far ahead of her time. She urged her husband, President John Adams, to "remember the ladies" and despite having no formal education herself, she later advocated for equal education in public schools for both boys and girls. She was also the first First Lady to live in the White House! This biography tells the story of Abigail Adams and her role in America's Revolutionary War period.

Date Added: 10/30/2017



Showing 101 through 125 of 138 results