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Curriculum Collection Book Lists: Picture books & Biographies

Picture Books

Baker, Jeannie. Where the Forest Meets the Sea. B1669w

On a camping trip in an Australian rain forest with his father, a young boy thinks about the history of the plant and animal life around him and wonders about their future.


Collier, John. The BackyardC6998b

A child imagines what has taken place in his backyard, from the present all the way back to the creation of the world.


Esbaum, Jill. Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A’Comin. E741S

Inspired by Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi.


Flournoy, Valerie. Tanya’s Reunion. F64336ta

When she and her grandmother go to help with preparations for a big family reunion, Tanya learns about the history of the farm in Virginia where Grandma grew up.


Heide, Florence Parry. Sami and the Time of the Troubles. H465sa

A ten-year-old Lebanese boy goes to school, helps his mother with chores, plays with his friends, and lives with his family in a basement shelter when bombings occur and fighting begins on his street.


Hiser, Berniece T. Adventure of Charlie and his Wheat-Straw Hat. H6734a

As money is short in seven-year-old Charlie's Appalachian home during the Civil War and there is not enough to buy the straw hat that Charlie wants to wear to school, he and his grandmother decide to make a hat themselves.


Lyon, George Ella. Cecil’s Story. L991c

A boy thinks about the possible scenarios that exist for him at home if his father goes off to fight in the Civil War.


Pennypacker, Sara. Sparrow Girl. P416s

When China's leader declares war on sparrows in 1958, everyone makes loud noise in hopes of chasing the hungry birds from their land except for Ming-Li, a young girl whose compassion and foresight prevent a disaster.


Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. P762pi

Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops. Based on a true story about the author's great-great-grandfather.


Reuter, Elisabeth. Best Friends. R4474j

Lisa and Judith, one German and the other Jewish, are best friends, until the Nazi propaganda machine at school declares that "Jews cause all the problems in Germany!"


Smith, William Jay. Ho for a Hat! S664h

A young boy and his dog observe and try on a variety of hats throughout history.


Talbott, Hudson. We’re Back! : A Dinosaur’s Story. T142w

Creatures from prehistoric time travel to the twentieth century and create excitement at the Museum of Natural History in New York.


Topooco, Eusebio. Waira’s First Journey. T675w

An Aymara Indian girl has many new experiences and learns more about the history of her people as she and her parents make the long journey from their home in the mountains of Bolivia to the market in Topojo.


Turner, Ann Warren. Katie’s Trunk. T944k

Katie, whose family is not sympathetic to the rebel soldiers during the American Revolution, hides under the clothes in her mother's wedding trunk when they invade her home.


 Van Leeuwen, Jean. Across the Wide Dark Sea : The Mayflower Journey. V259ac 

A boy and his family endure a difficult nine-week journey across the ocean and survive the first winter at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.

About Historical Fiction Biographies

BIOGRAPHICAL FICTION - A biography is an account of someone’s life and is generally presented in a non-fiction format. However, biographies can be fiction.  While the storyline of biographical fiction is true, the conversations and scenes are created.  The list below are examples of biographical fiction in a historical context, written for a younger audience.



Kay, Verla. Rough. Tough Charley. 921 P246k

Charley Parkhurst voted for president nearly 50 years before women won the right to vote in California.  This is a true-life tale of a woman masquerading all her life as a man—working, voting, joining men's associations and earning a reputation as the best at what s/he did.


Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Bad News for Outlaws : The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal.   921 R332n

This biography profiles the life of Bass Reeves, a former slave who was recruited as a deputy United States Marshal in the area that was to become Oklahoma.


Spradlin, Michael P. Daniel Boone's Great Escape. 921 B724s

A great escape While out hunting buffalo one day, the great Wild West explorer Daniel Boone was captured by powerful Shawnee warriors.


Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts : 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. 629.45 S881a

When NASA was launched in 1958, 13 women proved they had as much of the right stuff as men to be astronauts, but their way to space was blocked by prejudice, insecurity, and a scrawled note written by one of Washington's most powerful men.


Tunnell, Michael O. Joke's on George. 921 P358t 2001

Briefly surveys the life of the early American portrait painter and describes an incident in which George Washington, visiting his natural history museum, was fooled by a lifelike painting of two of Peale's sons climbing a staircase.


Wheeler, Opal. Sebastian Bach : The Boy From Thuringia. 921 B118w

A fictional life of Bach for children, with excerpts from his music arranged for the piano.


Winnick, Karen B. Sybil’s Night Ride. 973.3 W776s

The story of young Sybil Ludington, who like Paul Revere, rode through the countryside to alert the colonists that the British were coming.