History Tells a Great Story

 The lives of others can not only be interesting, but also a great source to learn life's lessons.  Here are a few that I recently read and I thought that you would like as well. Enjoy! 

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt Doreen Rappaport

President Theodore Roosevelt is known as "the man with a plan," the "rough rider." His figure stands tall in American history; his legacy stretching him to larger-than-life proportions. But before his rise to fame, he was just "Teedie," a boy with ambitious dreams to change the world, and the conviction to see his stupendous imaginings brought to fruition. As an American president, he left an impressive mark upon his country. He promised a "square deal" to all citizens, he tamed big businesses, and protected the nation's wildlife and natural beauty. His fearless leadership assured that he would always be remembered, and his robust spirit now dares others to do mighty things. In her moving picture book portrait, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport uses her well-honed approach of personal quotes and vivid prose to spin together the tale of a sickly boy who became a monumental man. Coupled with C. F. Payne's dramatic artwork, the story of President Teddy, touchstone of American history, is brought to life.

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace Jen Cullerton Johnson 


A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and first environnmentalist, to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for planting trees in her native Kenya. Detailed narrative and vibrant images paint a robust portrait of this inspiring champion of women's rights and the environment and engagingly capture the people, clothing and landscape of Kenya.

 The Librarian Who Measured the Earth Kathryn Lasky

Eratosthenes of Cyrene, also known as "Father of Geography," used geometry to calculate the circumference of the earth. The fact that he was able to solve this mathematical questions extremely impressive, especially when you consider the time period, in which he lived. That being said, it was his natural curiously for scientific and mathematically truths that will resonate with readers. Beautifully written this is a biography that you will want to share with others.  


Helen's Big World : The Life of Helen Keller  Doreen Rappaport

This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller's life and legacy, making Helen's Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America-and the world-forever.

 Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao's Last Dancer Li Cunxin

In a poor village in northern China, a small boy named Li Cunxin was given the chance of a lifetime. Selected by Chairman Mao's officials from among millions of children to become a dancer, Li's new life began as he left his family behind. At the Beijing Dance Academy, days were long and difficult. Li's hard work was rewarded when he was chosen yet again, this time to travel to America to be a part of the Houston Ballet. From there his career took flight, and he danced in cities around the world, never forgetting his family, who urged him to follow his dreams.

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist adapted by Gina Capaldi

Zitkala-Sa finds that she can sing through her music, but also by writing stories and giving speeches and being an activist for Native American rights.

Joan of Arc Demi

In This illustrated biography of Joan of Arc, from her early vision of Archangel Michael to her military victories, and eventual execution at the stake for heresy.