Word Bank Realism Real Vulnerabilities Narrates Autobiography Weaknesses Learn Political Multi-cultural Historical Explorers Truth Heroes Artists Time period Idealized Persevere Common Newberry Authors Partial Caldecott Complete Collective Represent
What is a biography?Narrates the life of areal individual who hasmade an impact on theworld.By reading this genre ofbook, children learnthat they, too, can makea difference in theworld!
Importance Children can learn from the lives of others Promotes social-emotional development by realizing that choices people make early in their lives can lead to greatness Connections can be made about people’s lives and the historical time in which they lived
Early Biographies Oldest books for children Only exposed children to the lives of national and cultural heroes Subjects were idealized and larger than life Not altogether believable
Unsavory RealitiesChildren should not be exposed to: Discrimination Violence AbuseBiographies were bland and unrealistic
Fictionalized Characters Narrated by a mouse Narrated by a parrot
Early Recognition 1934 First Newberry Medal Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs
1940Daniel Boone by James Daugherty Contemporary readers may be appalled by the portrayal of Native Americans
1st Caldecott 1940 Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire Established the picture-book biography for younger children
1970’s were a turning point… 1973 a new standard was set… And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? By Jean Fritz Authentic biography without invented dialogue Used conversation and humor Concentrated on 1-2 events Also included “Notes from the Author” for additional facts
Biographies give children a wider representation of people ! Men, women, and children of many ethnic and racial backgrounds Varying occupations and contributions to A biography of the Cherokee society Indian who created a method for his people to write and read their own language.
Contemporary Authors handle their subjects with: New realism Present them as human beings with vulnerabilities and In their review, Publ Weekly said Stanley and Vennema weaknesses "make a seemingly effortless leap into ancient times, masterfully relating Cleopatras life story through words and pictures...This peerless author/artist team makes the captivating, ultimately tragic Cleopatra seem astoundingly real."
TRUTH! 1970’s gave birth to the modern biographies Many cultures outside of one’s own are recognized Authors delve beneath the surface to give a truer account of the time and people Common person and time period is explored as opposed to only great people and events
Well Known People+ portrayed in the context of their time+ concerns of the day+ choices available to the subject+ social movements of the day= a truer account of theperson and/or the event
Women’s Suffrage Lizzie begins her life as a girl who believes that women “didn’t count for much”. Then she grows up and dedicates her life to women’s suffrage.
Partial - about a short span of apersons life Samuel Adams walked the This biography concentrates on streets of pre-Revolutionary Langston Hughes’ childhood. Boston promoting independence from England!
Collective -about severalpeople that havesomething incommon
Autobiography/Memoir - writtenby the authorabout themselves- usually writtento inspire or
Explorers of Earthand Space - risktaking anddiscovering theunknown
Social andPoliticalActivists -including thetraditionalpresidentbiographies
Artist andAuthors -people whohave madecontributions tothe world
People who havePersevered -provide inspirationand valuablelessons about therealities of theworld
How Biographies Work Must be about real The author uses a people. filter to tell the story. The author must Advanced readers create the personality should be aware of and events of a this filter and in persons life. order to evaluate the truth of the biography.
Major Writers David Adler Russell Freedman Jean Fritz Diane Stanley
Criteria for Selection Can be about heroes, villains, and regular people. Remember the needs of your patrons How is the characterization handled? Are there stereotypes? Check to make sure that the information is accurate and that careful research has been made by the author. Most importantly is the book engaging for the readers, and is the tone appropriate for your patrons?
AwardsThere are no Biography awards, they compete for non-fiction awardsas well as awards that can be given to any genre.Awards are often indicate with a seal on the cover.
QuestionHow would you characterize your personal hero if you were to write a children’s biography of that person?
Categories of BiographiesPartial PoliticalComplete ExplorersCollective ArtistsAutobiography Persevere