Tell Her Story: Picture Book Biographies
Alicia Alonso dances on
Viña, Rose, author.
As a young girl in Cuba, Alicia Alonso practiced ballet in tennis shoes. Within a few years, she was in New York City, with a promising ballet career. But her eyesight began to fail. When Alicia needed surgeries to save her vision, dancing was impossible, but she wouldn't give up her dream. She found the strength and determination to return to the stage and become a prima ballerina. This is the true story of a woman who overcame her challenges, mastered her art, and inspired others to dance and dream.
Stacey Abrams and the fight to vote
Todd, Traci N., author.
"Stacey Abrams, politician and Nobel peace prize nominee, is brought to life in this poetic picture book biography that follows Abrams's fight for voters' rights. Narrated by Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer, this powerful story tells how Abrams's work was inspired by those luminaries before her."
One wish : Fatima al-Fihri and the world's oldest university
Yuksel, M. O., author.
"Fatima al-Fihri loved to learn. She wanted to know everything, like how birds flew, why the sky was blue, and how flowers grew. But more than anything, she wanted a school for all, where anyone could study and become whatever they wanted, like teachers, scientists, and doctors. As she grew older, Fatima carried her one wish inside her, through good times and bad. Fueled by her faith and her determination, she worked hard to make her one wish come true. For over a thousand years, Fatima's one wish--her school--served students and scholars from around the globe, and it continues to do so today!"
Dragon bones : the fantastic fossil discoveries of Mary Anning
Marsh, Sarah Glenn, author.
"At home in her seaside town in England, little Mary Anning stared out her window. Unlike other children, Mary couldn't wait for a rainy day. Because when it rained ... the bones were revealed. With her father and brother, Mary would go out searching the damp soil after a storm, with the hopes of finding something nobody had seen before: a dinosaur. After her father dies, Mary must continue her search, picking up his tools and venturing out alone. In her life, she discovered several creatures, but was never given credit ... until recently
The heart of the storm : a biography of Sue Bird
Mentyka, Sharon, author.
"This picture book biography of accomplished and celebrated basketball player and activist Sue Bird follows her journey from an energetic yet shy young girl to one of the most versatile and inspirational athletes of our time and a leader whose legacy extends off the court."
Splash! : Ethelda Bleibtrey makes waves of change
Boxer, Elisa, author.
"As a child with polio in the early 1900s, swimming set Ethelda Bleibtrey free. The water released her from her pain and helped her build strong muscle--and a powerful spirit. From then on, from the New York beaches to the 1920 Olympics, Ethelda made a splash wherever she went."
The green piano : how little me found music
Flack, Roberta, author.
"Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn’t have fancy clothes or expensive toys...but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano. When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter’s dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for--one that will make her become a legend in the music industry. Here is a lyrical picture book–perfect for aspiring piano players and singers--that shares an intimate look at Roberta Flack’s family and her special connection to music."
Her name was Mary Katharine : the only woman whose name is on the Declaration of Independence
Schwartz, Ella, 1974- author.
"Born in 1738, Mary Katharine Goddard came of age in colonial Connecticut as the burgeoning nation prepared for the American Revolution. As a businesswoman and a newspaper publisher, Goddard paved the way for influential Revolutionary media. Her remarkable accomplishments as a woman defied societal norms and set the stage for a free and open press. When the Continental Congress decreed that the Declaration of Independence be widely distributed, one person rose to the occasion and printed the document--boldly inserting her name at the bottom with a printing credit: Mary Katharine Goddard.
Annette feels free : the true story of Annette Kellerman, world-class swimmer, fashion pioneer, and real-life mermaid
Mazeika, Katie, author, illustrator.
"All her life, Annette wanted one thing: to feel free. As a girl she found freedom in the water, where she could swim without the leg braces she needed on land. As she grew up, Annette swam in Australia and England and America and beyond, performing synchronized swimming--which she invented!--and competing in swim races and diving exhibitions. But always she was bogged down by her heavy swim clothes. Clothes that only women had to wear, not men. So Annette designed her own swim costume. And then, she fought for the right to wear it--and for the right for all women to feel free.
A story is to share : how Ruth Krauss found another way to tell a tale
Higgins, Carter, author.
"Born a baby late at night there's no parade just crashing rain She listens listens writes and draws stitches pages sews a book She finds another way to tell a tale This unique picture book biography provides a mesmerizing look at the life of children's writer Ruth Krauss, best known for books like The Carrot Seed, A Hole is to Dig, and A Very Special House. With an imaginative, spontaneous text from Carter Higgins that pays homage to Krauss's distinct voice, and Isabelle Arsenault's exquisite illustrations that evoke a childlike sense of wonder, A Story is to Share is a tribute to storytelling and creativity of all kinds."
Only the best : the exceptional life and fashion of Ann Lowe
Messner, Kate, author.
"Empowering and encouraging, this picture book biography of the first nationally known African American fashion designer, who dressed millionaires and movie stars, details her creative process as well as the obstacles she overcame to become the best.
Just wild enough : Mireya Mayor, primatologist
Magellan, Marta, 1951- author.
"For Mireya Mayor, even as a young child whose house was filed with cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, a chicken, and a snapping turtle, nothing was quite wild enough. Older, she traded her pom-poms as a cheerleader for the National Football League for the swamps of the South American jungle. The first woman wildlife TV reporter for National Geographic, she traveled the world, but things still weren't quite wild enough. It was only when Mireya went to Madagascar that things FINALLY got wild enough. This biography of the woman who convinced the prime minister of Madagascar to make the mouse lemur's rain forest a protected national park is an inspiring-and wild story."
The astronomer who questioned everything : the story of Maria Mitchell
Alary, Laura, author.
"As a child, Maria Mitchell longed to see beyond her little island of Nantucket. With help from her father, she discovered that, if you knew how to read them, the stars could tell you where you were -- and where you needed to go. Maria spent hours on the roof of her house scanning the sky -- finding constellations, nebulae, meteors, double stars. When the King of Denmark offered a prize to the first person to find a new comet, she did just that. In 1947, Maria discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet."
On her wings : the story of Toni Morrison
Nolen, Jerdine, author.
"Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford, she grew up listening to stories and loved reading. As a teenager she worked at the Lorain town library and later attended Howard University. As an editor at a New York publisher, she found time early in the morning and late at night after her children were asleep to write. When she looked about over her life and all what she had seen and learned, she knew she wanted to write about her people, Black people. Today and always her work and legacy will live on"
Phenomenal AOC : the roots and rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Denise, Anika, author.
An inspiring biography of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from Pura Belpre Honor-winning creators Anika Aldamuy Denise and Loris Lora! In 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest congresswoman in America. How did this young Puertoriquena become an unstoppable force in politics? Find out in this accessible and engaging book for young readers. AOC's remarkable story begins in her childhood Bronx home and comes full circle the moment AOC became America's youngest Congresswoman.
Out of the shadows : how Lotte Reiniger made the first animated fairytale movie
Robinson, Fiona, 1965- author, illustrator.
"Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) was a German film director and animator best known for The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which was released in 1926 and is the oldest surviving animated movie. (It came out a full 11 years before Disney's Snow White!) As a little kid, Reiniger loved reading fairytales and fell in love with puppetry. At school, she learned about paperschnitte, or papercuts, which helped her create her signature style of silhouettes. She grew up to make more than 40 films throughout her long career, most of which were fairytales that used her stop-film animation technique of hand-cut silhouettes."
Breaking through the clouds : the sometimes turbulent life of meteorologist Joanne Simpson
Nickel, Sandra, author.
"Joanne Simpson made groundbreaking--or should we say cloudbreaking--discoveries about weather and how it worked. Born in Massachusetts in 1923, she became interested in clouds while sailing in Cape Cod. As a young adult, she went to the University of Chicago and began studying and then teaching meteorology. "
Rise up with a song : the true story of Ethel Smyth, suffragette composer
Worthey, Diane, author.
"In 1867 England, a girl learned to be proper and speak when spoken to. But one girl marched to a different beat. Ethel Smyth climbed fences, explored graveyards, and yearned to become a famous composer at a time when only men could publisher their music. But become a composer she did, first signing her music as E. Smyth so people couldn't guess her gender then eventually writing openly as a woman (but still sometimes not getting paid!). Ethel had had enough."
The girl who built an ocean : an artist, an argonaut, and the true story of the world's first aquarium
Keating, Jess, author.
"The inspiring tale of a seamstress-turned-scientist who invented the world’s first aquarium at a time when women in STEM were startlingly rare. The daughter of a seamstress and a cobbler, Jeanne Villepreux-Power began her career as a dressmaker, sewing beautiful gowns for the Parisian aristocracy. But her heart longed for more, and when she moved to the seaside, she became fascinated by the ocean’s mysteries. "
Ida B. Wells, voice of truth : educator, feminist, and anti-lynching civil rights leader
Duster, Michelle, author.
"An inspiring picture book biography of Ida B. Wells--who was an educator, journalist, feminist, businesswoman, newspaper owner, public speaker, suffragist, civil rights activist, and women's club leader--as told by her great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster"
Stand up! : 10 mighty women who made a change
Cooper, Brittney C., 1980- author.
"Stand Up! tells the story of ten historic female figures who changed the world by standing up for what's right, including legendary Civil Rights activists like Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks and spanning to contemporary role models like Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds, and Mari Copeny, a youth activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Michigan."
If you were a princess
Homzie, Hillary, author.
"If you were a princess, what would you be? Maybe you’d fight for the rights of young girls and women throughout the world. Or graduate from university and find work as a research scientist. Or you might be a musician, a songwriter, a rapper, or a poet. Three best friends discover this and more as they learn what being a princess truly means. Through the facts and profiles of real-life princesses woven throughout, they become empowered to try and make a difference within their own communities--and discover that anyone can be a princess after all."
Kind like Marsha : learning from LGBTQ+ leaders
Prager, Sarah, 1986- author.
"Kind Like Marsha celebrates 14 amazing and inspirational LGBTQ+ people throughout history. Fan favorites like Harvey Milk, Sylvia Rivera, and Audre Lorde are joined by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, and more in this striking collection. With a focus on a positive personality attribute of each of the historical figures, readers will be encouraged to be brave like the Ugandan activist fighting for LGBTQ+ rights against all odds and to be kind like Marsha P. Johnson who took care of her trans community on the New York City streets."
Choosing brave : how Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till sparked the civil rights movement
Joy, Angela, 1975- author.
"A picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement. Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history."
Justice rising : 12 amazing Black women in the Civil Rights Movement
Russell-Brown, Katheryn, 1961- author.
"A celebration of twelve Black women who were pivotal to the civil rights movement and the fight for justice and equal rights in America. You’ve heard the names Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, but what about the many other women who were crucial to the civil rights movement? Told through twelve short biographies, this book celebrates just some of the many Black women--each of whom has been largely underrepresented until now--who were instrumental to the nation’s fight for civil rights and the contributions they made in driving the Movement forward.
Fighting for yes! : the story of disability rights activist Judith Heumann
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann, 1958- author.
In the 1970s an important disability rights law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was waiting to be signed. Judy and other disability rights activists fought for YES! They held a sit-in until Section 504 was signed into law. Section 504--established thanks in large part to the ongoing work of Judy and her community--laid the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Mama in Congress : Rashida Tlaib's journey to Washington
Tlaib, Rashida, 1976- author.
"When Yousif Tlaib asks about his mom's new job in Congress, his older brother, Adam, fills him in--with some help from Rashida Tlaib herself. As he tells his mom's story, Adam reveals information about how elections and our government work, what it means to break barriers, what motivates their mama to work for justice for all, and how love and family have guided them through this historic time in our country.
The fossil whisperer : how Wendy Sloboda discovered a dinosaur
Becker, Helaine, author.
"Young Wendy had a rare eye for unusual. She was always on the hunt for anything and everything -- gnarly rocks, buds and burrs, the brilliant blue of a jay's feather. When a class trip takes her to Alberta's amazing bonebed, a place known for its dinosaur fossils, twelve-year-old Wendy makes her first major discovery: a piece of fossilized coral from 100 million years ago!
Alice Waters cooks up a food revolution
Stanley, Diane, author.
"The delicious story of pioneering chef Alice Waters who changed the way America eats and kickstarted the organic food movement. A pioneer of the slow and organic food movements, she is also known for creating Edible Schoolyard, a project that involves kids in the growing of their own food."
Mae makes a way : the true story of Mae Reeves, hat & history maker
Rhuday-Perkovich, Olugbemisola, author.
"Mae had a dream to make one-of-a-kind hats. But the path for a Black female designer was unclear, so Mae made a way, leaving her home in the segregated South to study at the Chicago School of Millinery. Now, Mae had the skills, but craved the independence to create her own styles. So Mae found a way. In Philadelphia, she became the first Black woman to own a business on South Street.
A perfect fit : how Lena "Lane" Bryant changed the shape of fashion
Rockliff, Mara, author, illustrator.
"Discover how the Lane Bryant clothing brand changed the way we buy clothes forever by celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes in this inclusive picture book biography of a Lithuanian immigrant with a brilliant eye for fashion and business"
Jackie and the Mona Lisa
Rovin-Murphy, Deborah, author.
"Jackie Kennedy loved the arts. And America loved Jackie. The first lady knew she had the country's attention and she wanted to encourage Americans to appreciate art. This is the little-known story about how Jackie Kennedy brought the world's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, to the United States"
Bessie the motorcycle queen
Smith, Charles R., Jr., 1969- author.
"Hop on the bike with Bessie Stringfield, the motorcycle queen of Miami, in this powerful picture book from Coretta Scott King medalist Charles R. Smith, Jr. and debut picture book illustrator Charlot Kristensen. In 1929, 18-year-old Bessie Stringfield hopped on her motorcycle and headed out on an adventure, an unusual choice for a young Black woman at the time. Paying her way by winning motorcycle races, she criss-crossed the country through small towns, big cities, and wide open spaces."
Fearless heart : an illustrated biography of Surya Bonaly : the legacy of an Olympic figure skater
Murphy, Frank, 1966- author.
A biography covering Surya Bonaly's rise from a young French girl in love with ice skating to her triumphant backflip landing at the 1998 Olympics. Surya's fearless heart propelled her to always stay true to herself while pursuing her boldest dreams.
Celia planted a garden : the story of Celia Thaxter and her island garden
Root, Phyllis, author.
"Celia Thaxter grew up on a desolate island off the coast of Maine, where her father worked as lighthouse keeper. Amid the white and gray of the sea, the rocks, and even the birds, young Celia found color where she could: green mosses and purple starfish and pink morning glories by the shore. And she planted her first garden, tucking bright marigolds between rocky ledges. When she was twelve, Celia’s family moved to nearby Appledore Island, where her father built a large hotel, and Celia planted a bigger, ever-growing garden with nearly sixty types of flowers, from asters to wisteria."
Watson, Renée, author.
This unforgettable picture book introduces young readers to the life and work of Maya Angelou, whose words have uplifted and inspired generations of readers. The author of the celebrated autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya was the first Black person and first woman to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration, and her influence echoes through culture and history. She was also the first Black woman to appear on the United States quarter.
Dorothy the brave
Browne, Meghan P., 1985- author.
"Dorothy Lucas yearned to discover all that she was capable of. After the devastating news of Pearl Harbor, her brothers joined the World War II war effort, but Dorothy wanted to do her part, too. So, she enlisted to serve as a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP). After hours of flight school and roaring engines, Dorothy and her fellow WASPs risked their lives towing targets in the air for the male fighter pilots in training. Through many mechanical scares and smoke-filled cockpits, Dorothy remained brave and committed to her job--defying gravity and defying the odds"
Milloo's mind : the story of Maryam Faruqi, trailblazer for women's education
Faruqi, Reem, author.
"From the author of Lailah's Lunchbox and Unsettled comes a powerful picture book biography about Maryam Faruqi, the founder of the Happy Home Schools, which provided education to thousands of girls across Pakistan at a time when girls weren't encouraged to go to school. "
Sisters in Science : Marie Curie, Bronia Dluska, and the Atomic Power of Sisterhood
Marshall, Linda Elovitz/ Balbusso, Anna (ILT)/ Balbusso, Elena (ILT)
Discover the fascinating true story of Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie and her sister Bronia, two trailblazing women who worked together and made a legendary impact on chemistry and health care as we know it.
The Brilliant Calculator : How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America
Lower, Jan/ Reagan, Susan (ILT)
Long before calculators were invented, little Edith Clarke devoured numbers, conquered calculations, cracked puzzles, and breezed through brainteasers. Edith wanted to be an engineer—to use the numbers she saw all around her to help build America. When she grew up, no one would hire a woman engineer. But that didn’t stop Edith from following her passion and putting her lightning-quick mind to the problem of electricity.
Jovita wore pants : the story of a revolutionary fighter
Salazar, Aida, author.
"Jovita didn't want to cook and clean like her sisters, and she especially didn't want to wear the skirts her abuela gave her. She wanted to race her brothers and climb the tallest mesquite trees in Rancho Palos Blancos, ride horses, and wear pants! Whenher father and brothers joined the Cristeros War to fight for the right to practice religion, she wanted to help. She wasn't allowed to fight, but that didn't stop her from observing how her father strategized and familiarizing herself with the terrain. When tragedy struck, she did the only thing that felt right to her--cut her hair, donned a pair of pants, and continued the fight, commanding a battalion who followed her without question."