Category Archives: Biography

Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo

Shortly after he left office, Harry and Bess Truman went on a road trip in their 1953 Chrysler New Yorker from Missouri to DC to New York and back to Missouri. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure is part chronicle of that trip, part biography about Truman, and part commentary on how the places the Trumans visited have changed in the over 50 years that have passed since. Packed with information and anecdotes that any Truman fan will appreciate, I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 121
Pages Read in 2017: 33,308
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (H in SAPPHIRE)

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Filed under Biography, Non-Fiction

Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick

Along Came Galileo is a biography aimed at upper elementary age kids. It’s easy to read and while short, it covers all the main points of Galileo’s life. It includes quotes from Galileo at the end of each chapter and an index at the end. I recommend this book for kids studying Galileo or famous scientists.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 111 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 30,413
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Filed under Biography, Children

Alex: The Life of a Child by Frank Deford

Alex Deford was born in 1971 and died just 8 years later in 1980. She had Cystic Fibrosis. Alex: The Life of a Child is the story of her life as told by her father. When I was 12 or 13 I bought a copy of this book at a yard sale. I read it multiple times. For some reason I really loved the story of Alex. It’s been years since I last read it and it is still a great story. It is touching and told with such honesty and heartbreaking love. I highly recommend reading it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 35
Pages Read in 2017: 10,150
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (A in AQUAMARINE)

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Filed under Biography, Memoir

Nelson Mandela: A Life Inspired by Gillian Kendall and Wyatt North

Nelson Mandela was an amazing man. Nelson Mandela: A Life Inspired tells the story of his life from childhood through death. It is well written and told in a way that draws you into the story. I highly recommend reading this book to learn more about Mandela and also South African history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 10
Pages Read in 2017: 3320
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (N in GARNET)

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Jonas Salk: Conquering Polio by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

Jonas Salk: Conquering Polio is a very well-written biography of Jonas Salk and his quest to create a killed virus polio vaccine. It is quite fascinating and really held my sons’ attention (ages 8 and 10). I highly recommend it to anyone interested in vaccines or Salk.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 81
Pages Read in 2016: 21,364
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir draws on contemporary sources to tell the story of Henry VIII’s six wives, Catherine of Aragon (mother of Mary, annulled), Anne Boleyn (mother of Elizabeth, executed), Jane Seymour (mother of Edward VI, died due to childbirth), Anne of Cleves (annulled), Catherine Howard (executed), and Catherine Parr (marriage ended when he died). The book is very long and very in-depth, but the stories are told in a way that draws the reader in and holds attention. Most interesting is that although Henry VIII was adamant he have multiple male heirs and disapproved of women ruling, his one legitimate son never ruled in his own right since he died at just 15, but his daughters are still remembered today, one for how bloody her reign was and the other for the great era she presided over. I highly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in medieval England or Henry VIII.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 28
Pages Read in 2016: 7178
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, History, Non-Fiction

The Story of Thomas Alva Edison by Margaret Cousins

The Story of Thomas Alva Edison is a well-written book about Thomas Edison’s life, from birth to death. It is written in a way that is interesting to children in late elementary through middle school. Many stories and anecdotes are included to give a well-rounded picture of the inventor. I recommend it for children and adults alike.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 116
Pages Read in 2015: 33,199
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Middle Grades