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 1 through 25 of 138 results

Who Was Anne Frank?

by Nancy Harrison and Ann Abramson

In her amazing diary, Anne Frank revealed the challenges and dreams common for any young girl. But Hitler brought her childhood to an end and forced her and her family into hiding.

Who Was Anne Frank? looks closely at Anne's life before the secret annex, what life was like in hiding, and the legacy of her diary. Black-and-white illustrations including maps and diagrams provide historical and visual reference in an easy-to-read biography written in a way that is appropriate and accessible for younger readers.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Hillary Clinton?

by Heather Alexander and Nancy Harrison and Dede Putra

Who Is Hillary Clinton? Readers of our New York Times best-selling series can find out now!At age fourteen, Hillary Clinton thought it would be thrilling to become an astronaut, so she sent an application to NASA. The reply was a flat out rejection: the space program didn't take women. It was a critical moment for the young girl, one that made her realize the world she lived in needed changing and that she had better try to make those changes happen. Clinton's life has been a thrilling series of firsts--First Lady of the US, then first First Lady to become a US Senator, Secretary of State, and possibly the first woman to run as the Democratic candidate for President. This easy-to-read biography gives readers a firm grounding not only in Clinton's life history but the history of the times in which she's lived. It comes out as she makes her historic run for the White House.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Steve Irwin?

by Dina Anastasio and Jim Eldridge

By popular demand, the 100th Who Was...? subject is Steve Irwin!Steve Irwin did not have a typical childhood. Born in Melbourne, Australia, on February 22, 1962, he was raised on the wildlife park his parents owned. He cared for the animals and especially loved reptiles--he got a python for his sixth birthday! At nine years old, Steve was already helping his father wrestle small crocodiles. He became a crocodile trapper after graduating high school, catching the creatures before dangerous poachers could. Steve met his wife, Terri, at his family's park, and instead of a honeymoon, the pair filmed a wildlife documentary that led to the creation of the well-known series The Crocodile Hunter. Tragically, Steve was killed on September 4, 2006 while filming a documentary when a stingray attacked, piercing his heart. He was forty-four years old. However, his life's work obviously still strikes a chord with kids who voted him the winner of the 100th Who Was...? title.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Is Elton John?

by Nancy Harrison and Kirsten Anderson and Joseph J. Qiu

How does a little boy from the London suburbs named Reginald Kenneth Dwight grow up to become one of the biggest pop stars of all time? A lot of talent and a lot of personality! Elton John, as he would later call himself, started playing piano at the age of three. Although he was trained to play classical music, Elton's real love was rock and roll. He cut his first album in 1969 and has dominated the airwaves ever since with songs like "Your Song," "Crocodile Rock" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Known for his outlandish stage costumes and giant glasses, Elton John continues to write songs for Broadway musicals, Hollywood soundtracks, and Top-40 hits.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Judy Blume?

by Kirsten Anderson and Ted Hammond and Who Hq

Learn how Judy Blume went from a stay-at-home mother to one of the most beloved American authors of the twentieth century.Readers adore Judy Blume for her personal stories about the journey from childhood to adolescence. She has always been an imaginative person and an avid reader. As a child, Judy spent time looking through library shelves for the perfect books, and if she couldn't find the right ones, she entertained herself by making up stories in her head. When she got older, Judy started writing her stories down. Although readers fell in love with characters like Margaret Simon and Fudge Hatcher, some parents challenged some of her titles, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, for discussing sensitive issues. Despite all the controversy, this award-winning author and her books have remained popular among fans, both old and new.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Andy Warhol?

by Nancy Harrison and Kirsten Anderson and Gregory Copeland

Best known for his screen prints of soup cans and movie stars, this shy young boy from Pittsburgh shot to fame with his radical ideas of what "art" could be. Working in the aptly named "Factory," Warhol's paintings, movies, and eccentric lifestyle blurred the lines between pop culture and art, ushering in the Pop Art movement and, with it, a national obsession. Who Was Andy Warhol? tells the story of an enigmatic man who grew into a cultural icon.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Milton Bradley?

by Nancy Harrison and Kirsten Anderson and Tim Foley

Meet the man behind the board games: Milton Bradley.Born in Maine in 1836, Milton Bradley moved with his family to the working-class city of Lowell, Massachusetts, at age 11. His early life consisted of several highs and lows, from graduating high school and attending Harvard to getting laid off and losing his first wife. These experiences gave Bradley the idea for his first board game: The Checkered Game of Life. He produced and sold Life across the country and it quickly became a national sensation. Working with his company, the Milton Bradley Company, he continued to produce board games, crayons, and kid-friendly school supplies for the rest of his life. He is often credited as the father of board games, and the Milton Bradley Company has created Battleship, Jenga, Yahtzee, Trouble, and many more classic games.

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 Christopher Columbus?

by Nancy Harrison and Bonnie Bader

Learn all about Christopher Columbus' early life at sea, which led him to seek fortune by sailing west in hopes of creating new trade routes with the Indies. Kids will read about why he called himself the "Great Admirald of the Seas" and learn of all his struggles to find finacial support for his voyage.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Jacqueline Kennedy?

by Bonnie Bader and Joseph J. Qiu

Through this engaging Who Was? biography, kids will discover the woman behind the sunglasses.Private and bookish, Jackie Kennedy found herself thrust into the world spotlight as the young and glamorous wife of the President John F. Kennedy. As First Lady she restored the once neglected rooms of the White House to their former glory, and through her charm and elegance became a style icon whose influence is still felt even today. Kids will be fascinated to read about a First Family whose youth, intelligence, and good looks captivated America in the early 1960s.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

by Bonnie Bader

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 25 when he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was soon organizing black people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights. Maintaining nonviolent and peaceful tactics even when his life was threatened, King was also an advocate for the poor and spoke out against racial and economic injustice until his death from an assassin's bullet in 1968. With clearly written text that explains this tumultuous time in history and 80 black-and-white illustrations, this Who Was book celebrates the vision and the legacy of a remarkable man.

Date Added: 01/03/2018


Who Was Robert E. Lee?

by John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison and Bonnie Bader

Robert E. Lee seemed destined for greatness. His father was a Revolutionary War hero and at West Point he graduated second in his class! In 1861, when the Southern states seceded from the Union, Lee was offered the opportunity to command the Union forces. However, even though he was against the war, his loyalty to his home state of Virginia wouldn't let him fight for the North. He fought against the United States for the Confederacy. He lost.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Bono?

by Andrew Thomson and Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Who Hq

How did an Irish schoolboy become the lead singer of a world-famous rock band and the founder of several humanitarian groups? Track Bono's rise to fame in this exciting addition to the Who Was? series. By age 16, Paul David Hewson was such a good singer that he had earned the nickname "Bono Vox," a Latin phrase that translates to "good voice." When he became the frontman of the newly formed rock band U2 in 1976, he adopted part of the nickname and "Bono" was introduced to the world. Today, U2 have sold over 157 million albums and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammys. In addition to having stellar vocals and a compelling stage presence, Bono is also recognized for his commitment to social justice. This book shares the story of this charitable rock star who has been named a "Person of the Year" by TIME magazine and who is recognized as a global icon of goodwill.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Alexander Hamilton?

by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Dede Putra

Read the story of the Founding Father who inspired the smash Broadway musical.Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He founded the Bank of New York and The New York Post newspaper. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and is also celebrated as a co-author of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays that are still used today to interpret the U.S. Constitution.The end of his life became a national scandal when he was shot and killed in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Alfred Hitchcock?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Pamela D. Pollack and Jonathan Moore

Known as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Alfred Hitchcock's unique vision in movies like Psycho and The Birds sent shivers down our spines and shockwaves through the film industry. His innovative camera techniques have been studied for decades and his gift for storytelling cemented his place in history. Many directors make great movies, but the genius of Hitchcock helped make movies great. Learn how a chubby boy from London became the "Master of Suspense."

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Charles Dickens?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Mark Edward Geyer and Pamela D. Pollack

As a child, Charles Dickens worked in a shoe polish factory where his gritty surroundings inspired some of the most memorable characters and settings in literary history. Known for his masterful storytelling in books like Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol, Dickens toured the globe as one of the most famous people of his era. Widely considered the greatest writer of the Victorian age, Dickens's literary masterpieces continue to amuse and inspire writers and readers alike.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Joan of Arc?

by Andrew Thomson and Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison

Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was J. R. R. Tolkien?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Pamela D. Pollack and Jonathan Moore

Best known for his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in British-occupied South Africa. His early life was full of action and adventure.

Tolkien spent his childhood roaming the British countryside with his family and could read and write by age four. He was naturally gifted with languages and used this skill as a signals officers in World War II as well as in his fantasy writing. By creating alternate universes and inventing languages in his work he demonstrated that imaginary realms were not just for children. Fondly remembered as the "Father of High Fantasy," Tolkien's books have inspired blockbuster movies and legions of fans.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Lewis Carroll?

by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Joseph J. Qiu and Who Hq

Meet the man who created Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum!Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles L. Dodgson, a mathematician and church deacon, who taught at Oxford University. He was inspired to write his best known works, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by one of the Dean's daughters, Alice Liddell. The books were hugely successful and brought Carroll wide acclaim, especially for the nonsense poems "Jabberwocky" and The Hunting of the Snark.Children and adults continue to be delighted by the fantasy of the Alice stories, which have been the basis of plays and movies since their publication in Victorian England during the 1860s and 1870s.

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 Steve Jobs?

by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso

Steve Jobs, adopted in infancy by a family in San Francisco, packed a lot of life into fifty-six short years. In this Who Was#133;? biography, children will learn how his obsession with computers and technology at an early age led him to co-found and run Apple, in addition to turning Pixar into a ground-breaking animation studio. A college dropout, Jobs took unconventional steps in his path to success and inspired the best and the brightest to come with him and #147;change the world. ”

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Was Susan B. Anthony?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Pamela D. Pollack and Mike Lacey

Susan B. Anthony may be an international icon but her campaign for women's rights had personal roots. Working as a school teacher in New York, Anthony refused to settle for less pay than her male colleagues which ignited her lifelong devotion to women's equality. Anthony toured the United States and Europe giving speeches and publishing articles as one of the most important advocates of women's rights. Learn more about the woman behind the movement in Who Was Susan B. Anthony?

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Selena?

by Who Hq and Max Bisantz and Kate Bisantz

Discover why Selena, the Queen of Tejano music, became one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the twentieth century!As a young girl, Selena Quintanilla sang in a band called Selena y Los Dinos with her brother and sister. The family performed at fairs, weddings, quinceañeras, and on street corners in their native Texas. Selena learned how to sing in Spanish and soon became hugely popular within the Latino community--so much so that she became the best-selling Latin artist of the 1990s. Selena was poised to be a great success, but her life was cut short after being fatally wounded by the president of her fan club. Selena's contributions to music and fashion during her life made her one of the top Latin musicians in the 1990s, and readers will want to know more about the woman who introduced the world to Tejano music.

Date Added: 08/22/2018


Who Was Albert Einstein?

by Robert Andrew Parker and Nancy Harrison and Jess Brallier

Everyone has heard of Albert Einstein-but what exactly did he do? How much do kids really know about Albert Einstein besides the funny hair and genius label? For instance, do they know that he was expelled from school as a kid? Finally, here's the story of Albert Einstein's life, told in a fun, engaging way that clearly explores the world he lived in and changed.

Date Added: 10/30/2017


Who Is Malala Yousafzai?

by Andrew Thomson and Dinah Brown

Malala Yousafzai was a girl who loved to learn but was told that girls would no longer be allowed to go to school. She wrote a blog that called attention to what was happening in her beautiful corner of Pakistan and realized that words can bring about change. She has continued to speak out for the right of all children to have an education. In 2014 she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Date Added: 12/04/2018



Showing 1 through 25 of 138 results