Biographies to Read-Aloud

Picture book biographies make excellent, exciting and informative read-alouds.


Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer.  Carole Gerber.  Pelican, 2011.
Annie was born during the Civil War.  She enjoyed learning the constellations with her mother.  She broke through many barriers attaining several college degrees usually limited to men.  She helped develop the system for classifying the temperature of stars and still holds the record for classifying 400,000 stars!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade



The Bravest Woman in America.  Marissa Moss.  Tricycle Press, 2011.
At age 16, when her father became sick, Ida Lewis and her mother took over operation of Lime Rock Lighthouse off the coast of Rhode Island.  During 39 years as the “keeper” she saved at least 18 lives.  She was recognized for her heroism with a Congressional Medal.  Dramatic and inspiring.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade



Henry Aaron’s Dream.  Matt Tavares.  Candlewick, 2012.
This is a great homage to Hank Aaron whose childhood dream, never lost hope.  Persevering against many obstacles , he finally becomes a major league player.  The text is strong and paints a clear picture of segregation and racism in the 1940’s and 50’s.  The “n” word appears a couple of times.  Fabulous watercolors.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade


Just as Good : How Larry Doby Changed America’s Game.  Chris Crowe.  Candlewick Press, 2012.
Doby was the first black player in the American League.  A family in Cleveland listens to the first game of the 1948 World Series on the radio as Doby leads the Cleveland Indians to victory.  A great historical note follows the story.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-4th grade



Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!  Jonah Winter.  Arthur A. Levine, 2012.
This picture book biography focuses on how Picasso became a very accomplished painter in the traditional sense, then turned the art world upside down creating his own, controversial style.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade



Life in the Ocean : the Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012.
An awe-inspiring picture book biography about the life of the renowned oceanographer.  As a child she explored and observed creatures for hours on end.  She said “she was a biologist and a botanist long before she even knew what those words meant.”  When her family moved to Florida, she “lost her heart to the water.”  The book goes on to beautifully describe her many, many accomplishments as an oceanographer.  Students will be amazed at her accomplishments and inspired to take better care of our oceans.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade


A Nation’s Hope : The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.  Matt de la Pena.  Dial, 2011.
This powerful and stunning picture book biography shows how one determined, courageous man A real gem.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 3rd-5th grade



Touch the Sky : Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper.  Albert Whitman, 2012.
Alice Coachman was the daughter of a poor cotton farmer in 1930s Georgia.  She loved running and sports at an early age.  She overcame many obstacles to become the first African-American woman to win a gold medal by setting a high jump record at the 1948 Olympics in London.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-4th grade

Leave a Reply