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 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


Who Is Richard Branson?

by Michael Burgan and Ted Hammond

What would you do with a billion dollars? This question gets a definitive answer from billionaire Richard Branson: do everything! Born into a wealthy family in London, Branson suffered from dyslexia and was a poor student. Still, his knack for business started early with a successful parakeet-breeding enterprise at age 11.The charismatic entrepreneur launched his first major business, Virgin Records, at age 22 and spent the next few decades building the Virgin group that now includes more than 400 companies. Known for his eccentric lifestyle and trillion-watt smile, Branson's hot air balloon flights, innovative leadership, and world record attempts have made him an instantly-recognizable global icon.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Are Venus and Serena Williams

by Andrew Thomson and James Buckley

The dynamic story of the Williams sisters, both top-ranked professional tennis players.Venus and Serena Williams are two of the most successful professional American tennis players of all time. Coached at an early age by their parents, the sisters have both gone on to become Grand Slam title winners. They have both achieved the World Number One ranking in both singles and doubles! Although completely professional and fiercely competitive, the sisters remain close. Who Are Venus and Serena Williams? follows the pair from their early days of training up through the ranks and to the Summer Olympic Games, where they have each won four gold medals—more than any other tennis players.This title in the New York Times best-selling series has eighty illustrations that help bring the exciting story of tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams to life.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Queen Elizabeth?

by June Eding and Nancy Harrison

Our bestselling series is fit for a queen! The life of Queen Elizabeth I was dramatic and dangerous: cast out of her father?s court at the age of three and imprisoned at nineteen, Elizabeth was crowned queen in 1558, when she was only twenty-five. A tough, intelligent woman who spoke five languages, Elizabeth ruled for over forty years and led England through one of its most prosperous periods in history. Over 80 illustrations bring ?Gloriana? and her court to life. .

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Marie Antoinette?

by John O'Brien and Dana Meachen Rau

From the palaces of Austria to the mirrored halls of Versailles, Marie Antoinette led a charmed life. She was born into royalty in 1755 and married the future king of France at age 15. By 21 she ascended to the throne and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle of masquerade balls, sky-high wigs, and extravagant food. But her taste for excess ruffled many feathers. The poor people of France blamed Marie Antoinette for their poverty. Her spending helped incite the French Revolution. And after much public outcry, in 1793 she quite literally lost her head because of it. Whether she was blameless or guilty is debatable, but Marie Antoinette remains woven into the fabric of history and popular culture.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Is Aretha Franklin?

by Nico Medina and Gregory Copeland and Who Hq

There is only one QUEEN OF SOUL! Discover why Aretha Franklin garners so much R-E-S-P-E-C-T.Aretha Franklin is a musical and cultural icon who created an amazing legacy spanning six decades! Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, Aretha got her start singing in front of her father's Baptist congregation and found minor success as a gospel singer. She then set her sights on becoming a pop music artist and used her powerful voice and impressive skills on the piano to get a record deal. Aretha released her first of many celebrated albums at the age of 18. In 1987, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making her the first female artist to grace the prestigious list. With iconic hits such as "Respect" and "Think," and countless awards to her name including eighteen Grammys, Aretha Franklin is one of the bestselling artists of all time.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Elvis Presley?

by Geoff Edgers and John O'Brien

Put on your blue suede shoes and get ready for another addition to the Who Was…? series! The King could not have come from humbler origins: Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, during the Depression, he grew up with the blues music of the rural South, the gospel music of local churches, and the country-western classics. But he forged a sound all his own—and a look that was all his own, too. With curled lip, swiveling hips, and greased pompadour, Elvis changed popular music forever, ushering in the age of rock and roll. Geoff Edgers’s fascinating biography of this icon of American pop culture includes black and- white illustrations on nearly every spread.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


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 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 Is Michelle Obama?

by Megan Stine and John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison

Born into a close knit family in Chicago, Michelle Robinson was a star student who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. Then in 1992, she married another promising young lawyer and the rest, as they say, is history. It is undeniable that President Barack Obama has changed the United States but so has Michelle Obama, the self proclaimed "Mom in Chief." This compelling, easy-to-read biography is illustrated by New Yorker artist John O'Brien.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Nikola Tesla?

by John Hinderliter and Jim Gigliotti and Who Hq

Get ready for the electrifying biography of Nikola Tesla--part creative genius, part mad scientist, and 100% innovator.

When Nikola Tesla arrived in the United States in 1884, he didn't have much money, but he did have a letter of introduction to renowned inventor Thomas Edison. The working relationship between the two men was short lived, though, and the two scientist-inventors became harsh competitors.

One of the most influential scientists of all time, Nikola Tesla is celebrated for his experiments in electricity, X-rays, remote controls, and wireless communications. His invention of the Tesla coil was instrumental in the development of radio technology.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Who Was Napoleon?

by Jim Gigliotti and Gregory Copeland and Who Hq

Learn more about Napoleon Bonaparte, the decorated French military leader who conquered much of Europe in the early nineteenth century.

Born in the Mediterranean island of Corsica, Napoleon Bonaparte felt like an outsider once his family moved to France. But he found his life's calling after graduating from military school. Napoleon went on to become a brilliant military strategist and the emperor of France.

In addition to greatly expanding the French empire, Napoleon also created many laws, which are still encoded in legal systems around the world.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


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 Elvis Presley?

by Geoff Edgers

Put on your blue suede shoes and get ready for the latest title in the Who Was... ? series! The King could not have come from humbler origins: Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, during the Depression, he grew up with the blues music of the rural South, the gospel music of local churches, and the country-western classics. But he forged a sound all his own-and a look that was all his own, too. With curled lip, swivelling hips, and greased pompadour, Elvis changed popular music forever, ushering in the age of rock and roll. Geoff Edgers's fascinating biography of this icon of American pop culture includes black and- white illustrations on nearly every spread.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?

by Margaret Frith and John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison

One day in 1882, Thomas Edison flipped a switch that lit up lower Manhattan with incandescent light and changed the way people live ever after. The electric light bulb was only one of thousands of Edison's inventions, which include the phonograph and the kinetoscope, an early precursor to the movie camera. As a boy, observing a robin catch a worm and then take flight, he fed a playmate a mixture of worms and water to see if she could fly! Here's an accessible, appealing biography with 100 black-and-white illustrations.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


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 Was Neil Armstrong?

by Roberta Edwards and Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi

Available in time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, this biography introduces youngsters to Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the Moon. Illustrations.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Barack Obama?

by Roberta Edwards and John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison

As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as our first African-American president. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography is perfect for primary graders looking for a longer, fuller life story than is found in the author's bestselling beginning reader Barack Obama: United States President. .

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Jane Goodall?

by Roberta Edwards and John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison

A life in the wild! Jane Goodall, born in London, England, always loved animals and wanted to study them in their natural habitats. So at age twenty-six, off she went to Africa! Goodall's up-close observations of chimpanzees changed what we know about them and paved the way for many female scientists who came after her. Now her story comes to life in this biography with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Maria Tallchief?

by Catherine Gourley and Nancy Harrison and Val Paul Taylor

Born in 1925, Maria Tallchief spent part of her childhood on an Osage reservation in Oklahoma. With the support of her family and world-renowned choreographer George Balanchine, she rose to the top of her art form to become America's first prima ballerina. Black-and-white illustrations provide visual sidebars to the history of ballet while taking readers through the life of this amazing dancer.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Davy Crockett?

by Gail Herman and Nancy Harrison and Robert Squier

Davy Crockett, the King of the Wild Frontier, is a man of legend. He is said to have killed his first bear when he was three years old. His smile alone killed another, and he skinned a bear by forcing him to run between two trees. Fact or fiction? Find out the real story of this folk hero, who did love to hunt bears, served as a congressman for Tennessee, and fought and died at the Alamo.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


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 Is Michelle Obama?

by Megan Stine and John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison

Born into a close knit family in Chicago, Michelle Robinson was a star student who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. Then in 1992, she married another promising young lawyer and the rest, as they say, is history. It is undeniable that President Barack Obama has changed the United States but so has Michelle Obama, the self proclaimed "Mom in Chief. " This compelling, easy-to-read biography is illustrated by New Yorker artist John O'Brien.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Bob Dylan?

by John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison and Jim O'Connor

A singer-songwriter, musician, and artist, Bob Dylan is an American icon. In the past five decades, Dylan's work has influenced everyone from John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and David Bowie to rapper Eminem. Young music lovers will be fascinated by this great artist's life!

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Bill Gates?

by Nancy Harrison and Patricia Brennan Demuth and Ted Hammond

Bill Gates, born in Seattle, Washington, in 1955, is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. In this Who Was...? biography, children will learn of Gates' childhood passion for computer technology, which led him to revolutionize personal computers. Through the success of his now-world-famous software company, Microsoft, Bill Gates became one of the wealthiest philanthropists in history.This fascinating story of a child technology genius is sure to captivate all audiences!

Date Added: 02/22/2018



Showing 1 through 25 of 138 results