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    Books: Biographies
    Biographies allow young readers to explore the lives of other people and the times in which they lived---in a small way, to walk in the shoes of another person. The best biographies present characters honestly, showing both their strengths and their frailties. They do not resort to negative stereotyping based on gender, race, ethnicity, or physical ability. Although the historical setting and the style in which the book is written are important, the primary focus of a biography must be on its subject and the people who influenced him or her. -- Source

    Lawlor's research into the lives of her subjects takes her into libraries where she immerses herself in sources about her subject. Along the way she reads primary material, studies the work of earlier historians and synthesizes the information. What emerges from Lawlor's research is a well-researched, well-written manuscript which draws young readers into the lives of the subject. Commenting about Daniel Boone, Booklist said, "...this is as solidly researched and dynamic as children's biography should be ... ." Smithsonian called Shadow Catcher "a magnificent biography" and School Library Journal commented about the fact that the biography was "carefully researched, highly readable."

  • Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World
    Features chapters about Eugenie Clark (ichthyologist), Marie Tharp (cartographer), Katherine Coleman Johnson (mathematician), Florence hawley Ellis (anthropologist), Gertrude Elion (pharmacologist), and Margaret Burbidge (astrophysicist).
  • Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
    Rachel Carson found many adventurous ways to study nature and engaged in many dangerous investigations but her riskiest of her endeavors was to write and publish Silent Spring, a book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on our living world.
  • Daniel Boone
    Examines the life of the famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone. Curriculum Connections
  • Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit
    Frustrated by her inability to communicate, Helen Keller became stubborn, audacious, and persistent. The person who made a difference in Keller's life was her teacher, Annie Sullivan. This is a fascinating account of the girl who became a woman -- a woman with a passion for life, compassion for others, and a woman with a great sense of humor. Keller was much in the news from 1888 to the late 1960s, Lawlor's account of Keller's life will bring her story to a new generation for readers. Curriculum Connections
  • The Real Johnny Appleseed
    Lawlor provides more facts than legend in this fascinating biography of one of America's earliest pioneers in the westward movement.
  • Shadow Catcher: The Life and Work of Edward S. Curtis
    Edward S. Curtis became known for the photographs he took of Native Americans in the late 1800s and early 1900s . Shadow Catcher details his life's work and includes many of his remarkable photographs.


Source: Educator's Companion to Children's Literature, Volume 2 by Sharron L. McElmeel (Libraries Unlimited), pgs. 99. Quoted with permission.

    © 2002 - 2016 Laurie Lawlor. All rights reserved.