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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
- 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.