Best Biographies for Kids

Below are some of the best autobiographies and biographies for kids. Books of this genre can help children reach deeper levels of understanding in many areas across the curriculum--from Language Arts genre studies to units in history, geography, character education, and many other subject areas.

The interest level (audience age) increases as you move down the page.

When I Was Young
in the Mountains

by Cynthia Rylant
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

Grandfather's Journey
by Allen Say
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

by Barbara Cooney
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

The Art Lesson
by Tomie dePaola
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Levi Strauss Gets
a Bright Idea

A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants by Tony Johnston
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

Martin's Big Words
by Doreen Rappaport
Kindergarten - 4th grade

by Patrick McDonnell
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Wilma Unlimited
How Wilma Rudolph Became
the World's Fastest Woman
by Kathleen Krull

Kindergarten - 5th grade

Mama Miti
by Donna Jo Napoli
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

Duke Ellington
by Andrea Pinkney
1st grade - 5th grade

26 Fairmount Avenue series
(adorable series that tells the story of DePaola's childhood in the 30s-40s)
by Tomie DePaola  / 
2nd grade - 5th grade

 A Story of Jacques Cousteau
by Jennifer Berne
2nd grade - 5th grade

Odd Boy Out
Young Albert Einstein
by Don Brown
2nd grade - 5th grade

A Wizard from the Start
The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison by Don Brown
2nd grade - 5th grade

Neo Leo
The Ageless Ideas of
Leonardo daVinci
by Gene Barretta

2nd grade - 5th grade

Reaching for the Moon
by Buzz Aldrin
2nd grade - 5th grade

Starry Messenger
 by Peter Sis
3rd grade & Up

Harvesting Hope
The Story of Cesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
3rd grade - 6th grade

The Boy Who Invented TV
 The Story of Philo Farnsworth
by Kathleen Krull
2nd grade - 5th grade

Through My Eyes
 by Ruby Bridges
3rd grade - 7th grade

Bill Peet: An Autobiography
by Bill Peet
3rd grade & Up

Bad News for Outlaws
The Remarkable Life of Bass
Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal

3rd grade & Up

Boys of Steel
The Creators of Superman
by Marc Nobleman
3rd grade - 6th grade

Gregor Mendel
The Friar Who Grew Peas
 by Cheryl Bardoe
3rd grade - 6th grade

Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories
about Growing Up Scieszka
by Jon Scieszka

3rd grade - 6th grade

Knots in My Yo-yo String
The Autobiography of a Kid
 by Jerry Spinelli
5th grade & Up

The Adventures of
Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn

by Robert Burleigh
4th grade - 8th grade

Boy: Tales of

 by Roald Dahl
4th grade - 7th grade

The Endless Steppe
Growing Up in Siberia
 by Esther Hautzig
5th grade & Up

The Day-Glo Brothers
The True Story of Bob and Joe
Switzer's Bright Ideas and
Brand New Colors

4th grade - 6th grade

How Angel Peterson
Got His Name

and other outrageous tales
about extreme sports

6th grade - 9th grade

The Real Benedict Arnold
by Jim Murphy
5th grade - 8th grade

Eleanor Roosevelt
A Life of Discovery
by Russell Freedman
6th grade - 12th grade

Kathleen Krull's biography series
Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Musicians, Lives of the Writers, Lives of the Athletes, Lives of the Presidents, Lives of the Pirates, Lives of Extraordinary Women
4th grade & Up

Red Scarf Girl
A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
by Ji-Li Jiang
5th grade - 9th grade

Parallel Journeys
(WW2 told by two youths --
a member of Hitler's Youth and
a concentration camp survivor)

7th grade & Up

Tasting the Sky
A Palestinian Childhood
by Ibtisam Barakat
7th grade & Up

A Photobiography

by Russell Freedman
5th grade - 9th grade

Come Back to Afghanistan
A California Teenager's Story
by Said Hyder Akbar
8th grade & Up

The Absolutely True Diary
of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie
7th grade - 10th grade

We also have dedicated book lists of biographies on the following people:

Biographies for kids on Abraham Lincoln

And we have biographies on Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Darwin

Enjoy the books!

Betsy, Cindy, and Virginia (the teachers/sisters behind this website)

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