Children's Historical Biographies
Many biographers strive to make important figures palatable to young readers by humanizing them in their stories. Political figures, on the other hand, tend to disappear into the hazy backdrop of history, genealogy, and contemporary personalities. While this can sometimes be achieved, biographers' efforts usually produce enigmatic figures who move through a jumbled sequence of events. Fortunately, there is a growing body of books that explore important figures through a personal perspective.
Sterne's Mary McLeod Bethune
In Sterne's Mary McLeod, Bethune is an African American woman who was committed to helping others. Born July 10, 1875 in Maysville, South Carolina, she grew up in the cotton fields. She eventually enrolled in a school for black children to learn the skills they would need to become missionaries. Mary McLeod Bethune wanted to become a missionary, and she worked hard to save up money to attend college.
Later, Bethune became involved in political issues, and she was appointed to the White House as a personal assistant to four presidents. She influenced the Red Cross to integrate, so that black people could perform the same jobs as whites. She later went on to become president of the Florida Federation of Colored Women and the National Association of Colored Women. She reached the highest level of office in either organization at the time.
In 1904, Bethune invited wealthy Daytona Beach residents to tour her school. She showcased her students' eagerness to learn and their hard work habits. She also sought donations from benefactors, board members, and the African American community. After a few years, the school was able to establish its first school for black students. Sterne's Mary McLeod Bethune is a compelling novel.
Sterne's Lucretia Mott
Lucretia Coffin Mott was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and studied at the Nine Partners Quaker boarding school in New York. While there, she became interested in the issue of slavery through visiting lecturers and readings, and was particularly moved by the fact that women were earning less money than men. Mott also embraced Quaker values and abolitionist beliefs.
Abolitionist, social reformer, and feminist, Lucretia Mott was a major figure in nineteenth-century reform movements. She was born in Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the second of five children. She went to a Quaker boarding school in New York and married James Mott, a man who later helped found Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
As an anti-slavery activist, Mott actively protested the Fugitive Slave Act, and helped an enslaved person escape the bonds of slavery a few years later. Afterward, she became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association, and joined Stanton and Anthony in denouncing the 14th and 15th amendments. During the Civil War, Mott became an influential political figure, setting up the Swarthmore College. She fought for suffrage, education, and economic aid for women.
Sterling's Lucretia Mott
A child's interest in women's history will increase after reading this readable children's historical biography. During the Civil War, Lucretia Mott upholds Quaker principles of peace and nonviolence, although most of her fellow Quakers choose to fight for the Union. She raises money to help free slaves in the South, and her son in law leases land for training black soldiers. Eventually, the 13th Amendment frees slaves.
Lucretia Mott was a leading abolitionist, feminist, pacifist, and social reformer in the nineteenth century. She was raised by Quakers and spent her life working for social reform, including helping to found Swarthmore College in 1864. She was not the first to advocate for women's equality, but her stance made her one of the most influential women in history.
In 1844, she and her mother are widowed by influenza. Mott suffers from chronic dyspepsia and encephalitis. She loses 92 pounds and is a little less active in public life. The family lives at 136 N. 9th Street, along with her daughter Maria Davis. During this period, the Quakers believed that men and women were equal in the eyes of God, and they lived according to their beliefs.
In Burleigh's Walden Children's History Series, there are several books on notable American people. Tiger of the Snows is a biography of Tenzing Norgay, the first man to climb Mount Everest. The author, Robert Burleigh, collaborated with Wendell Minor to write Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic. Other Burleigh titles include Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, Henry Holt, and Into the Woods by John James Audubon.
Henry David Thoreau spent one year living in a log cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He spent his days exploring and observing the animals and plants he found there. He later wrote his observations in a notebook, which became the seminal book Walden. The series is a great way to introduce new readers to historical figures who were influential to our world.
Another excellent book in the series is Little Red Riding Hood, a children's version of the classic story by Henry David Thoreau. The author explains that Thoreau was not completely reclusive and spent most of his time with family and friends. Instead, he bolted to the woods for his own personal solitude. While this approach may be appropriate for young children, it is unlikely to captivate adult readers.
Sterne's Fritz's Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold
In Sterne's Fritz's Traiter: The Case of Benedict Arnold, a young man named Benedict Arnold resigns from the Continental Congress and becomes a private detective. He claims that he was wrongly promoted to the position, but other officers received credit for his accomplishments. While some in his circle accused him of corruption, he was often acquitted. The Continental Congress investigated the matter, finding that he was heavily in debt to the government and borrowed to maintain his lavish lifestyle.
Willard Sterne Randall, an award-winning historian and journalist, has written a biography of Benedict. His research led him to new materials about the General, including the reasons for his changing sides. Willard Sterne Randall, the author of Fritz's Traitor, has used these documents to piece together the story of Benedict Arnold. In doing so, Sterne has brought the story of this man's life to the forefront of public debate.
While Arnold's career in the Continental Army is well known, his military skills were unmatched. He almost took Quebec in 1775, leading a miserable march through the freezing wilderness where he and his men were starving and eating boiled candles. However, his leadership helped save America from defeat several times and was a vital part of the victory at Saratoga, New York, in 1777. In the course of this campaign, Arnold was shot twice and lost his leg in a duel with a British officer.
Clara Judson's Children's Historical Biographies
Clara Ingram Judson wrote over seventy children's books, including three Newbery Honor Books and two Laura Ingalls Wilder Awards. She was the first woman to host a radio program, and was honored with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal twice. Her work is celebrated today with a children's literature award named after her. Her books are full of history, and even the smallest children will learn about her life.
The theme of Judson's books is fairies, which symbolize children and the American people. Her books were published during the time when eco-criticism was gaining momentum in the United States. WWI was a transitional period for the country, and new technologies and methods of warfare combined. This resulted in a brutal warfare system. In addition to the deaths of thousands of humans, millions of animals were used for meat and slaughtered month after month. Judson's books acted as a voice against mechanized production.
The other Judson series included seven books that depicted the lives of families from various ethnic backgrounds in the United States. Beginning with Mary Jane's Book (1915) and ending with Mary Jane and her Friends in Holland, Judson's stories of the life of a simple farm girl were based on firsthand experiences. Judson included original documents, interviews, and museum visits in her books.
If you're looking for a book to read with your child, you should consider a historical biography about the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia Earhart was a child prodigy who took up flying lessons as a child and went on to become a multi-record-breaking pilot. Children's historical biographies about Amelia Earhart will show them that her incredible achievements made her a hero in the world of aviation.
If you're looking for a more detailed biography of Amelia Earhart, try I Am Amelia Earhart (Ordinary People Change the World). This is a great introduction to the life of this famous American aviation pioneer, and the illustrations are quite relatable. Children from ages 4-6 will be fascinated by this biography. It's easy to find a children's historical biography about Amelia Earhart.
If you're looking for a historical biography about Amelia Earhart for children, you may also want to consider the following books. The first book, 20 Hrs., 40 Min., details the flight and the events surrounding it. Afterwards, you'll also find a memoir, Last Flight, which contains Amelia Earhart's journals from her attempt at a world flight. The book is considered partially Earhart's original work.