Special Collections

ELC-4 Unit 3 Biographies/Autobiographies/Memoirs

Description: Students select an author to read about and study. Some students may want to explore this genre in more depth by reading additional autobiographies and/or memoirs. #mcps


Showing 1 through 25 of 27 results

Wilbur and Orville Wright

by Louis Sabin

Focuses on the childhood of the Wright brothers and the inventiveness they displayed from their earliest days.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


When Marian Sang

by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznick

NIMAC-sourced textbook

Date Added: 09/17/2019


When Marian Sang

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and the first African American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.

Winner of the Sibert Honor

Date Added: 09/17/2019


What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?

by Jean Fritz

A brief biography of the eighteenth-century printer, inventor, and statesman who played an influential role in the early history of the United States.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


What Are You Figuring Now? A Story about Benjamin Banneker

by Jeri Chase Ferris

A biography of the Afro-American farmer and self-taught mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor for the new capital city of the United States in 1791, who also calculated a successful almanac notable for its preciseness.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Talkin' about Bessie

by Nikki Grimes

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African-American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 09/17/2019


A Strong Right Arm

by Michelle Y. Green

Motivated by her love for the game and inspired by the legendary Jackie Robinson, Mamie Johnson is determined to be a professional baseball pitcher. But in a sport that's dominated by white men, there is no place for a black woman.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Promises to Keep

by Sharon Robinson

A warm, intimate portrait of Jackie Robinson, America's sports icon, told from the unique perspective of a unique insider: his only daughter. Sharon Robinson shares memories of her famous father in this warm loving biography of the man who broke the color barrier in baseball. Jackie Robinson was an outstanding athlete, a devoted family man and a dedicated civil rights activist. The author explores the fascinating circumstances surrounding Jackie Robinson's breakthrough. She also tells the off-the-field story of Robinson's hard-won victories and the inspiring effect he had on his family, his community. . . his country! Includes never-before-published letters by Jackie Robinson, as well as photos from the Robinson family archives.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


The Moon and I

by Betsy Byars

While describing her humorous adventures with a blacksnake, Betsy Byars recounts childhood anecdotes and explains how she writes a book.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Molly Bannaky

by Alice Mcgill and Chris K. Soentpiet

On a cold gray morning in 1683, Molly Walsh sat on a stool tugging at the udder of an obstinate cow. When she spilled the milk, she was brought before the court for stealing. Because she could read, Molly escaped the typical punishment of death on the gallows. At the age of seventeen, the English dairymaid was exiled from her country and sentenced to work as an indentured servant in British Colonial America. Molly worked for a planter in Maryland for seven long years. Then she was given an ox hitched to a cart, some supplies-and her freedom. That a lone woman should stake land was unheard of. That she would marry an African slave was even more so. Yet Molly prospered, and with her husband Bannaky, she turned a one-room cabin in the wilderness into a thriving one hundred-acre farm. And one day she had the pleasure of writing her new grandson's name in her cherished Bible: Benjamin Banneker.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winner

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Marshfield Dreams

by Ralph Fletcher

The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account

Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph's classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just "scuttlebutt." But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun―from making tripods in the woods and "snicking" up the rug, to raising chicks and even discovering a meteor (well, maybe). It doesn't feel like there's life beyond Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Then one day Dad's new job moves the family to Chicago, and there's so much Ralph has to leave behind. In this humorous and captivating memoir, Ralph Fletcher traces the roots of his storytelling.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Looking Back

by Lois Lowry

"I would like to introduce you to this book. It has no plot. It is about moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies. It is about things that happened, which caused other things to happen, so that eventually stories emerged." Children as well as adults often ask Lois Lowry where the ideas for her stories came from. In this fascinating, moving autobiography, the Newbery Medalist answers this and many other questions. Her writing often transports readers into her own world. She explores her rich history through family pictures, memories, and recollections of childhood friends. She details pivotal moments that affected her life, inspired her writing, and that magically evolved into rich and wonderful stories that one is reluctant to put down. Lowry fans, and anyone interested in the writing process, will tremendously enjoy this poignant trip through a remarkable writer's past.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Knots in My Yo-Yo String

by Jerry Spinelli

"A master of those embarrassing, gloppy, painful, and suddenly wonderful things that happen on the razor's edge between childhood and full-fledged adolescence" (The Washington Post), Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli has penned his early autobiography with all the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction. From first memories through high school, including first kiss, first punch, first trip to the principal's office, and first humiliating sports experience, this is not merely an account of a highly unusual childhood. Rather, like Spinelli's fiction, its appeal lies in the accessibility and universality of his life. Entertaining and fast-paced, this is a highly readable memoir-- a must-have for Spinelli fans of all ages.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express

by Margaret K. Wetterer

Introduce young readers to history through the stories of both real and fictionalized people. By focusing on a single important episode that describes a historical event, these books engage readers' interests and imaginations. Written in a story format, each account relates events that really happened, often followed by a brief summary of the historical event to further explain the significance it had on history.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


The Invisible Thread

by Yoshiko Uchida

Growing up in California, Yoshi knew her family looked different from their neighbors. Still, she felt like an American. But everything changed when America went to war against Japan. Along with all the other Japanese-Americans on the West Coast, Yoshi's family were rounded up and imprisoned in a crowded. badly built camp in the desert because they "looked like the enemy." Yoshiko Uchida grew up to be an award-winning author. This memoir of her childhood gives a personal account of a shameful episode in American history.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


In the Line of Fire

by George Sullivan

NIMAC-sourced textbook

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Homesick

by Jean Fritz

This heartwarming fictionalized autobiography tells the story of what it is like for a little girl to be growing up in an unfamiliar place.

While other girls her age were enjoying childhood in America, Jean Fritz was in China in the midst of political unrest. During this time, foreigners were becoming more and more unpopular, and evacuation at a moment's notice was imminent. Although Jean appreciated the beauty of China - the mountains, the countryside, the sea - she knew she belonged in America and longed to make her home there.

Newbery Honor Book

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Henry's Freedom Box

by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson

A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.

Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.

Winner of the Caldecott Honor

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers

by Jean Fritz

Harriet Beecher Stowe, a housewife with six children, opposed slavery with a passion. In 1852 her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was published and Harriet became an instant celebrity.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Harriet Beecher Stowe

by Joan D. Hedrick

"Up to this year I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject....But I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak." Thus did Harriet Beecher Stowe announce her decision to begin work on what would become one of the most influential novels ever written. The subject she had hesitated to "meddle with" was slavery, and the novel, of course, was "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Still debated today for its portrayal of African Americans and its unresolved place in the literary canon, Stowe's best-known work was first published in weekly installments from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. It caused such a stir in both the North and South, and even in Great Britain, that when Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862 he is said to have greeted her with the words, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that created this great war!" In this landmark book, the first full-scale biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe in over fifty years, Joan D. Hedrick tells the absorbing story of this gifted, complex, and contradictory woman.

Pulitzer Prize Winner

Date Added: 09/17/2019


The Diary of Ma Yan

by Ma Yan and Pierre Haski

Wednesday, November 7. My father gave me and my brother a little money. My stomach is all twisted up with hunger, but I don't want to spend the money on anything as frivolous as food. Because it's money my parents earn with their sweat and blood. I have to study well so that I won't ever again be tortured by hunger. . . . In a drought-stricken corner of rural China, an education can be the difference between a life of crushing poverty and the chance for a better future. But money is scarce, and the low wages paid for backbreaking work aren't always enough to pay school fees. Ma Yan's heart-wrenching, honest diary chronicles her struggle to escape hardship and bring prosperity to her family through her persistent, sometimes desperate, attempts to continue her schooling. First published in France in 2002, the Diary of Ma Yan created an outpouring of support for this courageous teenager and others like her -- support that led to the creation of an international organization dedicated to helping these children . . . all because of one ordinary girl's extraordinary diary.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


A Day of Pleasure

by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Mr. Singer has created out of remembered fragments of his own childhood a place instantly familiar where life is not neat and orderly.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Childtimes

by Eloise Greenfield and Lessie Jones Little

Childhood memories of three black women - grandmother, mother, and daughter - who grew up between the 1880s and 1950s.

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt!

by Jean Fritz

Today's preeminent biographer for young people brings to life our colorful twenty-sixth president. Conservationist, hunter, family man, politician, Teddy Roosevelt commanded the respect and admiration of many who marveled at his energy, drive, and achievements. -- "An outstanding portrait of one of America's favorite characters that should have a place in all children's collections". -- School Library Journal, starred review, -- "This colorful, idiosyncratic President, long a biographer's favorite, has never been portrayed with more beguiling wit, precision, and honesty. An excellent book".

Date Added: 09/17/2019


Boy

by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury's? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don't yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!

Date Added: 09/17/2019



Showing 1 through 25 of 27 results