Click on a grade below to see a list of suggested biographies for that level.
Reading Level: grade 7 & up
Pulitzer Prize winning author, Sonia Nazario had adapted her adult book for teens. It's the story of sixteen-year-old Enrique whose mother left her children in Honduras to come to the U.S. 12 years earlier with the promise she would return. When she doesn't, Enrique decides he will go to his mother. The journey is fraught with danger as he rides the tops of trains while hiding from the authorities, thugs, and bandits. Enrique's journeys across Central America and Mexico are a study in determination and the strength of love. His story will give readers a new perspective on illegal immigration and some things to think about. WARNING; Nazario does not gloss over beatings, rapes, maimings, and even murder.
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4
It's not that there's a lack of books about the racial barrier-breaking sports hero. This biography, written by his daughter Sharon, is different. Yes, this book about the racial divide in baseball and how Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play in the major leagues. It also gives a clear and interesting picture of his early years, his family life, his career in the military, and his life after baseball. Family photos throughout this short biography add that personal touch. Sharon Robinson has every reason to be proud of her father and her work.
Reading Level: Grades 6 and up
What sort of person becomes a Rhodes Scholar (one of the most prestigious academic honors in the world) and then signs on to become a Navy SEAL? Eric Greitens will take you on his journey that led him from refugee camps in Rwanda and Bosnia, the slums of Bolivia, the rigors of Navy SEAL training to the battlefields of Iraq and then home. In this adaptation for teens of his best-selling novel you will meet an extraordinary person you will not soon forget.
Reading Level: Grades 7 and up
Gaby's mother became pregnant with her first child at 14. All of Gaby's seven older brothers and sisters became teen parents as well, but Gaby, who was an unplanned, post-divorce child, is determined to not follow in her family's footsteps. When she needed to design her senior year research project she wondered, how would people react if a hardworking, determined student with a planned out future DID become a teen mother? Thus begins a six month long faked teen pregnancy and social experiment.
Reading Level: Grades 3-6
This is the true story of Tuyet, an eight -year- old orphan who didn't remember her life before the Saigon orphanage. There were the scars that she thought might have been from the war that still raged on, but she couldn't remember When Saigon fell, she was one of 57 babies and children evacuated to Canada during "Operation Babylift."
Novels about war orphans:
Betti on the Highwire by Lisa Railsback
Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge