Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - biographies - people who impacted our world 8.01.18

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017
Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

I have had a staggering amount of picture books pile up.  Fiction, nonfiction, just so many to read!  For the next few weeks I am featuring the large amount of picture book biographies I am reading!  Be sure to check back over the next few weeks for lot of new picture book biographies to add to your shelves.

Here are biographies featuring people who have impacted our world:

Turning Pages by Sonia Sotomayor
Turning Pages: My Life Story
written by Sonia Sotomayor
illustrated by Lulu Delacre

I love that Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has written part of her life story in a book specifically for children.  And she chooses to focus her book on books.  She details how books have been windows and mirrors for her as she was on her journey to sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States.
I love that we are getting some great picture book biographies about the Supreme Court justices.  I hope the young readers of today are more informed about their world than I was growing up.
Be sure to mark your calendars on Sept. 4th - the book birthday for this special story.

Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code by Joseph Bruchac
Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker's Story
written by Joseph Bruchac
illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes

I appreciate having Joseph Bruchac's books that have shed light on Native Americans, their history and important legends that have been passed down.
This book tells the history of Chester Nez.  What he was eventually known for is being a Navajo code talker during WWII.  I liked how this biography showed the parallels of Nez being taken from his home to live in a residential school.  This piece of American history was unknown to me until I started reading picture books.  The fact that Nez was taken from his home and told to forget his primary language and then be able to use it in a way to protect the United States is an important conflict that young readers should know about.  
This book also included additional information in the backmatter, including a timeline, author's note and the Navajo code.

Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes
Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail
by Jennifer Thermes

I had not heard of this amazing woman or her fascinating story.  Now that I've read it, I can tell you this is a book I want to own.  Detailing Emma "Grandma" Gatewood's record-breaking feat (no woman had hiked the entire Appalachian Trail), the book shows in illustrations a breakdown of the areas she hiked through maps that are interspersed throughout the story.  This is a story that will captivate readers attention and be a book that is read over and over.  

Be sure to check out these biographies!  Like what you see here?  Stop by in the coming weeks for more.

July 25th:  picture book biographies featuring math/science/engineering connections.
Aug. 8th:  picture book biographies about people who enhanced the arts.


  1. I've noted the Sonia Sotomayor story, Michele, glad to hear about it. I enjoyed the book about Chester Nez very much, have read about the code talkers before, and it's an amazing story. I still need to read about Grandma Gatewood! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Go Grandma Gatewood! I love true stories that show that there's no expiry date on dreams. :-)

  3. All new to me people, thank you for sharing and adding to my library stack.

  4. I enjoyed Grandma Gatewood. I especially love Jennifer Therms' maps--so cool.

    Looking forward to the Nez PB!

  5. Grandma Gatewood was an amazing woman! For the adults, be sure to check out our Emmy-nominated documentary, TRAIL MAGIC: THE GRANDMA GATEWOOD STORY AT