Fantastic Biographies for Children – 9 recommendations for you!

Biographies / autobiographies of famous people are often huge, all-encompassing tomes of scholarly information. It takes skill to make the history of another person come alive for young people. But a few books aim to introduce the youngest readers to key historical figures while explaining, in simple terms, some of their most stunning achievements.

The following biographies are some of the most fascinating we’ve come across. These will help children understand and find inspiration from some of the most important figures in our history.

Starry Messenger by Peter Sis

Biographies for Children More of an art book for kids than being one of straightforward biographies, this highly original contribution from famed illustrator Peter Sis will delight youngsters with a bent toward the arts and sciences. Sis traces Galileo‘s life from childhood to his final days as a prisoner of the church. Starry Messenger is a fascinating treat.

For ages: 8 to 12 years

Anne Frank

Biographies for Children The life of Anne Frank, from birth until being taken from the hidden attic by the Nazis, is presented in this haunting, meticulously researched picture book. It is a compelling yet easy-to-understand “first” introduction to the Holocaust as witnessed by Anne and her family. The stunningly evocative illustrations by Angela Barrett are worth a thousand words in capturing for young Americans what it must have felt like to be Anne Frank, a spirited child caught in the maelstrom of World War II atrocities. A detailed timeline of important events in Europe and in the Frank family is included.

For ages: 9 to 12 years

Jagadish and the Talking Plant by Swati Shome

Biographies7 In the early 20th century, after making pathbreaking innovations in wireless communication, pioneering scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose (J.C. Bose) turned to the world of plants. Merging the boundaries of biology and physics, he became a forerunner of biophysics, inventing ingenious instruments to study plant intelligence. His research remains radical even today, more than 150 years after his birth. In this fictionalised account of his life, the maverick scientist’s journey is imagined through the eyes of Mimosa Pudica — the ‘touch-me-not’ plant he used extensively in his research. Extracts from a well-known speech and an entry from Bose’s own journal offer a direct glimpse into a fascinating mind. A crisp timeline gives an overview of his life, while humorous asides and quick facts pack in a punch.

For ages: 9 to 12 years

Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

Biographies for Children Winner of the Newberry Medal, the Jefferson Cup Award, and the Golden Kite Honor Book Award, Lincoln: A Photobiography may be the most kid-friendly, relatable, and informative biography about America’s sixteenth president. Packed with photos and illustrations, the book offers a full picture of Lincoln, including his humor and his passion for storytelling. Kids will walk away with a real understanding and appreciation of the man and the politician. A great read.

For ages 9 to 12 years

Rani Lakshmi Bai by Nandini Nayar

        Biographies5 A girl born in an ordinary family, catapulted into an entirely new world with her marriage to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai’s life has elements of the fairy tale in it. And yet, the young Rani is remembered today not so much for her role as a queen, as the courage she displayed in taking on the British army, in order to claim her right to the kingdom. Rani Lakshmibai is probably the most inspiring and enduring image of the Uprising of 1857 in the minds of Indians, and has come to stand for courage and steely determination. The beautiful production and the lovely storytelling will keep you hooked!

For ages: 10 to 15 years

Leonardo da Vinci in the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker Series


This book is about Leonardo da Vinci, and how his love for nature fueled his mind to create wonderful ideas that weren’t fleshed out for another 500 years. He was a man before his time, and this book simplifies his complexity into a group of thoughts that children can appreciate and enjoy, especially as it links to the Magic Tree House series. The book will inspire them to research other topics to understand da Vinci’s genius better.

For ages: 7 – 12 years

Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin

 Biographies for Children Astronaut Buzz Aldrin narrates his inspiring autobiography, which focuses on both his early life and his spectacular career. He recaps the life events that influenced his choice to become an astronaut and captures the thrilling experience of landing on the moon.

For ages 7 – 12

Why the Sky is Blue by Dr C V Raman

 Biographies6 Dr C.V. Raman loved the universe, loved science, loved speaking to children. He spoke eloquently and encouraged people to ask questions and seek answers. More a memoir than an autobiography, the eminent scientist and Nobel Prize winner urges the readers of this book to look around, observe nature, and ask questions. The text is extracted from a famous lecture delivered by him at the Community Science Centre in Ahmedabad on 22 December 1968, and the dramatic black and white photographs were taken while he was talking about why the sky is blue. This gives the book a feeling of action, as though Dr C.V. Raman is actually speaking, moving his hands about and forcefully making his points. The pictures, the talk, the introduction, a crisp timeline listing milestones, the anecdotes, and a simple explanation of the Raman Effect all combine to capture the essence of a multifaceted man who was an inspiring example of the scientific spirit.

For ages: 9 years and above

A True Book – Biographies  (Scholastic Biographies)

 Biographies for Children Explore the lives of some of the most important leaders and innovators in recent history with this exciting new True Book series. Fascinating text details the life stories and accomplishments of these world-changing figures, while photos provide visual context. Readers are also encouraged to think critically about these people’s achievements and how they continue to affect our world today.

For ages: 8 – 10 years


Also read : Here’s why Reading Biographies is good for your child!

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