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Biographies for Kids: Reviews and Thoughts

Updated on August 1, 2013

Biographies for Children Teach Important Life Lessons

Biographies for kids have the power to help your child in all sorts of ways. They can be much more than a reading assignment. When a child reads the life story of someone notable, they can walk away from the experience a richer person. Biographies can do so much more than provide information about someone. They can inspire children to see new possibilities for their own lives. They can be an anchor for children who may be lacking a role model. They can even help to open up a child's imagination and allow them to dream things that they never before imagined.

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Ordinary Genius Albert Einstein Biography for Kids
Ordinary Genius Albert Einstein Biography for Kids

Why Read About Famous People?

(and who should you read about?)

Sometimes people wonder why anyone would want to read about famous people. The reason is quite simple. In most cases, they did something with their lives that was notable or worthy of being seen as an important part of our history. There are biographies about inventors, politicians, religious leaders, activists, and almost any other notable type that you can think of as you sit there reading this. Many times today, children only see people getting famous for what we would consider infamous behavior. Nobody wants their child to emulate that type of behavior. Biography books allow us to help our kids to make good choices. We can put good role models in front of them (as well as being good role models ourselves). Don't let the media decide who your child will see as a hero! That is your right and duty as a parent. You've GOT to guide your children, or somebody else will be happy to do it for you.

Below, I'm going to point out some of my favorite biographies about notable people that were written with young people in mind. If you're in a hurry though, you might want to check out this List of popular biographies for children.

Walt Disney Biographies - Who doesn't love Uncle Walt?

You'd be hard pressed to find a child in the world today who hasn't had some exposure to "something" Disney related. How many of them know the story of where it all began though? These biographies tell the one Disney story your kids probably don't know.

Milton Hershey Biography

The story of a young chocolatier

Most people do not know the impressive and inspiring story behind Milton Hershey. Like Disney, his name has become synonymous with a "thing". In this case, it's some very tasty chocolate and an entire city in Pennsylvania. There is a lot more to his story though, and his tale is quite an inspiration.

Have You Heard of Albert Einstein?

He had problems too!

Do you have a child who loves science? How about a child who struggles with some particular discipline in school? Albert Einstein's biography might be a good read for them. This book includes the history of how Einstein faced struggles in school, but still managed to do quite well for himself and mankind. Teachers may find this book useful for encouraging students to recognize their strengths and to persevere rather than getting down on themselves.

The Biography of Dr. Seuss

How did he think of that stuff?

I love reading Dr. Seuss books. The illustrations are amazing, the stories are filled with imagination, and their is usually even a lesson to be learned from them. If you or your children have ever wondered about the man behind these great stories, this book would be a great addition to your family library.

Gandhi

A great introduction to people who made history

This book is geared for upper elementary and possibly middle school students. It does a find job of introducing a historical figure that students may have heard of, but not really understood. If you are looking for a way to introduce the power and influence of politics and/or religion in our world, check out this biography of Gandhi. This is also a fine choice if you are looking for books to read together with your child. Unless you are a serious history buff, there's a good chance that you will learn something too!

The Life of Abraham Lincoln

Who is on a $5 bill?

If you have children, they might have told you that Abraham Lincoln is the guy on pennies and five dollar bills. What else do they know though? These books give kids a more personal look at the life of one of America's finest presidents than you will find in most social studies books. Lincoln faced many challenges in his life and went on to become one of our most influential and memorable presidents. These books are a fine addition to classroom or home libraries.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Introducing Civil Rights to Kids

This biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is aimed at elementary students. Of course there are many more advanced books available as well. (For an excellent adult oriented account of his life, check out Dr. King's autobiography.)

This is an introduction to a man who used his charisma and and ability to influence others from a very young age. He organized people across the country and was one of the most important figures in the Civil Rights movement. Many children today don't know anything about the accomplishments of Dr. King. In part, that is because he brought about so many changes. For today's young Americans, segregation by race would be unthinkable. It would be a crime to let Dr. King's legacy be forgotten.

George Washington for Kids

Learning about the father of our country

If you are an American, you have almost certainly heard of George Washington. Even preschool children know that he was the first American president. Beyond that though, many elementary students know very little about his life and accomplishments. These books are a great way to lead into a discussion of American history and the way that things have changed in our society. These can easily be used to introduce Revolutionary War material in the classroom as well. Let's face it, school textbooks can be a little bit boring at times, and they often focus only on major historical achievements. Personality can get lost. That is where supplementing with these books comes into play.

More books for kids and teens

Bible Stories for Children
Bible stories for children are a great way to introduce what can otherwise be a very confusing topic for kids. I remember sitting in church as a child and fe...

Inspirational Stories for Kids
Does your child lack direction? Turn off the television, take out the earbuds, and let them read some inspirational stories for kids. OK, a more subtle appro...

Short Stories for Teenagers
When you think of short stories for teenagers, there are some classic titles that come up. I still remember reading many of these in middle school and high s...

The Life of George Washington

Please Share Your Thoughts

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      It's a good idea to introduce children to age appropriate biographies, especially of persons who've lived lives unlike our own.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I like to read biographies, great lens!

    • SecondSally profile image
      Author

      SecondSally 4 years ago

      @PlethoraReader: Thanks so much!

    • SecondSally profile image
      Author

      SecondSally 4 years ago

      @Golfman7: Yes. You can learn a lot from other people's experiences.

    • Golfman7 profile image

      Golfman7 4 years ago

      I'm a big fan of biographies, in particular reading about how others have lived their lives.

    • PlethoraReader profile image

      Matthew 4 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Thank you for writing about such an important topic. I completely agree that we need more children to be excited about reading non-fiction (not to mention reading in general). Blessed!!