Biography & Autobiography
Note: We've linked each title to its Amazon page so you may read other's reviews. These books are also available at the public libraries and great local bookstores such as Blue Willow Bookshop and Katy Budget Books.
Biography – This is a very easy to explain genre. In a nutshell, it is the story of a person’s life told in the words of another person. In other words someone writes a book about a person where all the facts and events are true.
Autobiography – This is very similar to a biography except that the story is told by the actual person. A biography can often be confused with a memoir, which we will discuss at another time. A memoir tells about a certain time, story, or event in a person’s life where an autobiography tells about the person’s whole life usually starting at birth.
So, here are some of my current favorite biographies. I’ll also let you in on a secret: this isn’t one of my favorite genres (but I really liked the following books).
STEVE JOBS: THE MAN WHO THOUGHT DIFFERENT by Karen Bluemthal
We all know Steve Jobs as the man behind Apple but did you know he dropped out of college after only one semester. This is easy to read story that shows how at age twenty, Steve Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. The book also chronicles the evolution of the computer and all the Apple products we love today.
FROZEN IN TIME: CLARENCE BIRDSEYE’S OUTRAGEOUS IDEA ABOUT FROZEN FOOD by Mark Kurlansy
This is the man to thank for most of the frozen goodies in your freezer. Clarence Birdseye was an American inventor who started as a fur trapper in Canada. His wild ideas become the patented Birdseye freezing process. He changed the way we preserve, store and distribute food today. He also had many other inventions that you can learn about when you read this book.
LINCOLN’S SPYMASTER: ALLAN PINKERTON, AMERICA’S FIRST PRIVATE EYE by Samantha Seiple
Who doesn’t like a good story with danger and action? Pinkerton’s life was full of it. He was a Scottish immigrant who worked as a barrel-maker but on the side dabbled in the detective business. That dabbling developed into the oldest and most famous detective agency in the United States: Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Not only was he the first private eye but also he was President Lincoln’s most trusted spymaster. He caught train robbers, counterfeiters and other outlaws like Jesse James. He is considered the “father of modern day espionage.”
Hope you will consider giving one of these biographies a chance! In case you just can’t read someone’s true story check out RJ’s story.
IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH by Sarah J. SchmittYou have to love the title which is a play on IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. RJ is a seventeen-year-old “self absorbed princess”. She is used to getting exactly what she wants when she wants it so when the Grim Reaper takes her by mistake you better believe she raises a stink. When she gets to heaven and starts to plead her case she is caught in a battle between an archangel and Death. She is finally allowed to have her life back if she can prove it will lead to positive change. RJ’s story will leave you laughing and believe it or not you might shed a few tears.
Thanks for stopping by, now get back to the books you are choosing to read this summer! Next week I’ll be sharing some information about informational text. I know, very punny, right?