Cover image for Biographies for Homeschoolers post showing books from four different series of biographies.

Biographies for Your Homeschool

Reading biographies is a great way for children to learn.  Not only will they learn about many important events in history, but children will also gain new perspectives and expand their view of the world.  When kids read biographies, they learn to see ‘famous’ people as ‘ordinary’ and realize that they can achieve great things, too!  Biographies allow children to see how people overcome obstacles and persevere in accomplishing a goal.

When we first started homeschooling, I stumbled on the Who Was…? series and fell in love! In the beginning, we used them as read alouds and I learned so much about the historical figures alongside my children. Over the years, they have expanded their collection to over 200 biographies and we often use them in our homeschool.  They include several authors, some of the presidents, inventors, and many biographies that can be used during Women’s History Month or Black History Month.

But, since then many other biography series have come out as well.  Below is a list of kids’ biography series currently on the market including features of each series and what ages they are appropriate for.  Click the title of each series to find a list of all of the books in the series!

And then make sure to grab the free printable at the end of the post, including five styles of notebooking pages, timelines, and a Venn diagram that you can use with any of the books.

Check out this comprehensive list of series of biographies for children. Included are picture books, leveled readers, chapter books, and graphic non-fiction. Make sure to download the free notebooking pages to use with any of the biographies.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read our full disclosure.)

Picture Book Biographies

Little People, Big DREAMS

There are 99 books in this series started in 2017.  These are picture books and contain about 32 pages each.  Little People, BIG DREAMS make good read alouds for 4-8 year-olds.

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Rosa Parks (Volume 9) (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 9)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kaiser, Lisbeth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 09/07/2017 (Publication Date) - Frances Lincoln Children's Books (Publisher)
Rudolf Nureyev (Little People, BIG DREAMS Book 30)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sanchez Vegara, Maria Isabel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 07/30/2019 (Publication Date) - Frances Lincoln Children's Books (Publisher)
Ada Lovelace (Little People, BIG DREAMS Book 10)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sanchez Vegara, Maria Isabel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 03/01/2018 (Publication Date) - Frances Lincoln Children's Books (Publisher)

Ordinary People Change the World

This series of picture books has published 28 books since 2014.  They are geared toward 4-7 year olds and each has about 20 pages.  I love that they contain real photos and a timeline at the end of the book.  There are also 3 shorter ‘Little Books’ in the series.

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I am Leonardo da Vinci (Ordinary People Change the World)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Meltzer, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 04/14/2020 (Publication Date) - Rocky Pond Books (Publisher)
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I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Meltzer, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 01/08/2015 (Publication Date) - Rocky Pond Books (Publisher)
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I am Sacagawea (Ordinary People Change the World)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Meltzer, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 10/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Rocky Pond Books (Publisher)

 

Mini Movers and Shakers

This series of picture books came on the scene in 2020 and now contains 22 different books.  Each one is about 30 some pages and they are great for preschool and the early elementary years.

The Wright Brothers: A Kid's Book About Achieving the Impossible (Mini Movers and Shakers 15)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Nhin, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 09/20/2021 (Publication Date) - Grow Grit Press (Publisher)
Elon Musk: A Kid's Book About Inventions (Mini Movers and Shakers 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Nhin, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 35 Pages - 11/22/2020 (Publication Date) - Grow Grit Press (Publisher)
Mae Jemison: A Kid's Book About Reaching Your Dreams (Mini Movers and Shakers 4)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Nhin, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 33 Pages - 12/10/2020 (Publication Date) - Grow Grit Press (Publisher)

 

Inspired Inner Genius

2021 brought us the picture book series Inspired Inner Genius.  These 16 books are also great for the preschool and early elementary school years and are 30 some pages long.

Alexander Hamilton: (Children's Biography Book, Kids Ages 5 to 10, United States, Revolutionary War, Founding Fathers) (Inspired Inner Genius)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Genius, Inspired Inner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 34 Pages - 06/12/2021 (Publication Date)
Audrey Hepburn: (Children’s Biography Book, WW2 Stories for Kids, Old Hollywood Actress, Meaningful Gift for Boys & Girls) (Inspired Inner Genius)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Genius, Inspired Inner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 35 Pages - 10/03/2021 (Publication Date)
Babe Ruth: (Children’s Biography Book, Kids Books, Age 5 10, Baseball, MLB) (Inspired Inner Genius)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Genius, Inspired Inner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 37 Pages - 09/13/2021 (Publication Date)

Leveled Reader Biographies

National Geographic Readers: Reader Bios

The National Geographic series of leveled readers has some biographies in their Level 1, 2 and 3 books.  These are great if you want to find a biography that your younger children can read themselves or use to practice their reading while sitting with you. There are at least three Level 1 biographies (ages 4-6, 32 pages), ten Level 2 biographies (ages 6-9, 32 pages), and nine Level 3 biographies (6-9, 48 pages).

National Geographic Readers: Amelia Earhart (Readers Bios)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Gilpin, Caroline Crosson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 08/06/2013 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)
National Geographic Readers: Abraham Lincoln (Readers Bios)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Gilpin, Caroline Crosson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 12/26/2012 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)
National Geographic Readers: Anne Frank (Readers Bios)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Zapruder, Alexandra (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 08/06/2013 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)

 

Ready to Read Stories of Famous Americans

The Ready to Read series has several Level 3 books about famous people in US history.  The Level 3 books are chapter books at the second or third grade level and are for ‘confident readers’. The length of these books varies from 30-50 pages.  Some have more pictures than others.

Sojourner Truth: Path to Glory (Ready-to-Read Level 3) (Ready-to-Read Stories of Famous Americans)
  • Merchant, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 01/09/2007 (Publication Date) - Simon Spotlight (Publisher)
Teddy Roosevelt: The People's President (Ready-to-Read Level 3) (Ready-to-Read Stories of Famous Americans)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Gayle, Sharon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 01/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Simon Spotlight (Publisher)
Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross (Ready-to-Read Level 3) (Ready-to-Read Stories of Famous Americans)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Lakin, Patricia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 08/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Simon Spotlight (Publisher)

Graphic Non-Fiction

It’s Her Story

The number of graphic novels and graphic non-fiction books published in the past few years has exploded. It’s Her Story is a new series about famous women and has been created for the lower elementary school grades.  There are currently 6 books of 48 pages each.

It's Her Story - Marie Curie - A Graphic Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kaara Kallen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 01/23/2021 (Publication Date) - Sunbird Books (Publisher)
It's Her Story - Shirley Chisholm - A Graphic Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Patrice Aggs (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 02/14/2022 (Publication Date) - Sunbird Books (Publisher)
It's Her Story - Dolly Parton - A Graphic Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Emily Skwish (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 11/15/2021 (Publication Date) - Sunbird Books (Publisher)

Graphic Biographies

The Graphic Biographies series is another new series available.  Right now it contains 13 books of 32 pages each.  They were created for the upper elementary and middle school years.

Bessie Coleman (Graphic Biographies)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Robbins, Trina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 05/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Capstone Press (Publisher)
Jim Thorpe (Graphic Biographies)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Fandel, Jennifer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 05/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Capstone Press (Publisher)
William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania (Graphic Biographies)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Jacobson, Ryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 05/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Capstone Press (Publisher)

Who HQ Graphic Novels

The Who Was…? series just started adding graphic novels to their series this year.  Right now, there are six books of 64 pages each.  They are also geared toward the upper elementary and middle school grades.

Who Was the Girl Warrior of France?: Joan of Arc: A Who HQ Graphic Novel (Who HQ Graphic Novels)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Searle, Sarah Winifred (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/11/2022 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)
Who Was the Voice of the People?: Cesar Chavez: A Who HQ Graphic Novel (Who HQ Graphic Novels)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Blas, Terry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 01/11/2022 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)
Who Was the First Man on the Moon?: Neil Armstrong: A Who HQ Graphic Novel (Who HQ Graphic Novels)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Page, Nathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 01/11/2022 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Show Me History!

There are 19 books in this series of graphic non-fiction books.  Each one is about 96 pages and are geared toward 8-12 year olds.  They include a timeline, a glossary and additional facts and resources at the back of the book.

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Amelia Earhart: Pioneer of the Sky! (Show Me History!)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Buckley Jr., James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 03/26/2019 (Publication Date) - Portable Press (Publisher)
Muhammad Ali: The Greatest of All Time! (Show Me History!)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Buckley Jr., James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/10/2020 (Publication Date) - Portable Press (Publisher)
Albert Einstein: Genius of Space and Time! (Show Me History!)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Shulman, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 04/13/2021 (Publication Date) - Portable Press (Publisher)

Biography Chapter Books

Rookie Biographies

This series of chapter books from Scholastic is great for 6-7 year olds.  They contain big print and lots of pictures.  The books also have a table of contents, glossary and index, which are important features of books for children to learn about.  Each book is about 32 pages.

Ellen Ochoa (Rookie Biographies: Previous Editions)
  • Jaffe, Elizabeth D. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 03/01/2005 (Publication Date) - Children's Press (Publisher)
Cesar Chavez: Champion for Civil Rights (Rookie Biographies)
  • Roome, Anne Ross (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 01/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Children's Press (Publisher)
Serena Williams: A Champion on and off the Court (Rookie Biographies)
  • Shepherd, Jodie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 09/01/2016 (Publication Date) - C. Press/F. Watts Trade (Publisher)

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest…

This older series of books actually consists of four series: World’s Greatest Artists, World’s Greatest Composers, World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists, and US Presidents.  They combine photos, cartoons, facts and stories from each person’s life to create a fun way for 3rd and 4th graders to learn about famous people.  Each book is 30-40 pages long.

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Leonardo da Vinci (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)
  • Venezia, Mike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 02/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Children's Press (Publisher)
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Johann Sebastian Bach (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
  • Venezia, Mike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 02/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Children's Press (Publisher)
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Benjamin Franklin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Inventors & Scientists) (Library Edition): Electrified the World with New Ideas
  • Hardcover Book
  • Venezia, Mike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 08/14/2009 (Publication Date) - Children's Press (Publisher)
Harry S. Truman: Thirty-third President 1945-1953 (Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents)
  • Venezia, Mike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 04/23/2024 (Publication Date) - Childrens Pr (Publisher)

The Story of…

This series of chapter books is targeted to ‘young readers’ and are a great biography for independent readers who are not quite ready for the Who Was…? series.  They are labelled as being for 6-9 years, but they would likely need to be a read aloud for the younger end of that range.  Started in 2020, this series already has 35 books and each is about 65 pages.  A nice feature of this series is the glossary at the end of the book.

The Story of Alexander Hamilton: An Inspiring Biography for Young Readers (The Story of: Inspiring Biographies for Young Readers)
  • Platt MA, Christine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 05/19/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
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The Story of Frida Kahlo: An Inspiring Biography for Young Readers (The Story of: Inspiring Biographies for Young Readers)
  • Katz, Susan B. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 62 Pages - 03/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
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The Story of Simone Biles: An Inspiring Biography for Young Readers (The Story of: Inspiring Biographies for Young Readers)
  • Burk, Rachelle (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 66 Pages - 09/29/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)

She Persisted

As you can guess from the title, these books are about women who have fought through obstacles to make a difference in the world. The series started in 2017 as volumes of short biographies, each one containing 13 different women.  Since then, they have added 17 books of about 75 pages each about individual women.  They make good read alouds for the younger elementary years and independent readers for the upper elementary grades.  A special feature at the end gives you a list of ways ‘you can persist’ to carry over what you learned about the individual.

She Persisted: Wangari Maathai
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Odhiambo, Eucabeth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 77 Pages - 02/01/2022 (Publication Date) - Philomel Books (Publisher)
She Persisted: Maria Tallchief
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Day, Christine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 75 Pages - 11/16/2021 (Publication Date) - Philomel Books (Publisher)
She Persisted: Virginia Apgar
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • DasGupta, Sayantani (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 76 Pages - 04/06/2021 (Publication Date) - Philomel Books (Publisher)

 

Who Was…?

This is the most comprehensive series of biographies for children on the market with 204 books currently!  Each book is about 100 pages long and was created with 3rd-7th graders in mind.  A timeline of the person’s life as well as a timeline of world events at the time the person lived are included in the back of the book.

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? (Who Was?)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McDonough, Yona Zeldis (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 107 Pages - 04/28/2003 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)
Who Was King Tut? (Who Was?)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Edwards, Roberta (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 110 Pages - 03/02/2006 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)
Who Was Mother Teresa? (Who Was?)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Gigliotti, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 95 Pages - 05/05/2015 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)
Who Was Ernest Shackleton? (Who Was?)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Buckley, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 101 Pages - 12/26/2013 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

 

DK Life Stories

DK published 15 biographies in 2019 and 2020. (I really hope they publish more!) These are longer chapter books around 128 pages each making them great for the upper elementary years and even into middle school.  They have some great features in the back of the book such as timelines, family trees, glossaries, and quizzes!

DK Life Stories Jesse Owens: Amazing people who have shaped our world
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Buckley, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 127 Pages - 10/20/2020 (Publication Date) - DK Children (Publisher)
DK Life Stories: Katherine Johnson
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Wilkins, Ebony Joy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 130 Pages - 01/08/2019 (Publication Date) - DK Children (Publisher)
DK Life Stories: Gandhi
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bailey, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 127 Pages - 01/08/2019 (Publication Date) - DK Children (Publisher)

 

Childhood of Famous Americans

This series of 34 chapter books are longer than the previous ones listed making them great for upper elementary and middle schoolers.  Each one ranges from 160-230 pages and is written in an engaging narrative format.

Crazy Horse: Young War Chief (Childhood of Famous Americans)
  • Stanley, George E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/01/2005 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)
Christopher Reeve: Young Actor (Childhood of Famous Americans)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kudlinski, Kathleen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 228 Pages - 07/31/2007 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)
Ray Charles: Young Musician (Childhood of Famous Americans)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sloate, Susan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 180 Pages - 06/17/2008 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)
Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights (Childhood of Famous Americans)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Stanley, George E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 226 Pages - 12/03/2008 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)

 

Volumes of Short Biographies

Famous Figures of…

This is a popular series with the homeschool crowd because it is a hands on activity!  Each volume is focused on a particular time period or event and contains short biographies of 10-21 people of that time.  It also contains cut-outs for each person so kids can make their own puppet of the person with movable parts.  The books range from 50-100 pages and are great for the elementary years.  However, I know a few middle schoolers that would still have fun with them!

Famous Figures of Ancient Times
  • Diez-Luckie, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Figures in Motion (Publisher)
Famous Figures of the Civil War
  • Diez-Luckie, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Figures in Motion (Publisher)
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Famous Figures of the Early Modern Era
  • Diez-Luckie, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Figures in Motion (Publisher)

 

Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, Little Legends

There are three volumes in this series: Bold Women in Black History, Visionary Women Around the World, and Exceptional Men in Black History.  Each volume contains an illustration and a one page story about each person.  There are between 18 and 35 people featured in each volume.  These books are great resources for the preschool through elementary years.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (https://t.corp.amazon.com/V1296092238/overview Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Harrison, Vashti (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 12/05/2017 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World (Vashti Harrison Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Harrison, Vashti (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/06/2018 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History (Vashti Harrison Book 3)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Harrison, Vashti (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

 

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

There are five volumes in this series and each one contains one page stories of 100 different women.  A beautiful illustration of each woman is included.  These books were created to inspire preteen girls with amazing women from around the world.

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women
  • Hardcover Book
  • Favilli, Elena (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 11/10/2016 (Publication Date) - Rebel Girls (Publisher)
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2
  • Hardcover Book
  • Favilli, Elena (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 11/20/2017 (Publication Date) - Rebel Girls (Publisher)
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World
  • Hardcover Book
  • Rebel Girls (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 10/13/2020 (Publication Date) - Rebel Girls (Publisher)
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic
  • Hardcover Book
  • Workneh, Lilly (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 09/28/2021 (Publication Date) - Rebel Girls (Publisher)
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Inspiring Young Changemakers
  • Hardcover Book
  • Harriton, Jess (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 10/04/2022 (Publication Date) - Rebel Girls (Publisher)

 

N0n-Series Biographies

Of course, there are many great biographies that are not even in a series, especially at students get older!  Check out this list of stand alone biographies for teens.

Do you know of any good biography series we did not include?  Send us a message so we can add it!

Biography Notebooking Pages

Grab the FREE Notebooking pages that you can use with any of the biographies above.  Includes five different styles of notebooking pages, timelines by year or by historical figure’s age, timeline bookmarks, and a Venn diagram to compare two different historical   figures.