Category Archives: Biography

The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States and one of the founding fathers. The Great Little Madison is the story of his life from his frail beginning through The Federalist Papers and the presidency and retirement. The book is well written with lots of information while also keeping the reader captivated. As it is aimed at kids, I am sure there is much that is skipped or glossed over, but for an introduction to Madison, it is excellent and I highly recommend it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 98
Pages Read in 2018: 22,656
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Mozart: A Life by Paul Johnson

First, the good. Mozart: A Life is pretty short, but packed with analysis of Mozart’s music and some information about his life. The author clearly absolutely loves Mozart and his works. His passion comes through in the writing. You can’t help but really like Mozart, too, while reading it. But, then there’s the not so good. Even though the title indicates the book is a biography of Mozart, it is really more about his works. The author’s intense love of Mozart makes it so you would think he was practically a saint. Anything negative was glossed over. The writing was rather dull most of the time. I would not recommend this book if you want to know about Mozart the person, but it is good if you want to read about his works.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 92
Pages Read in 2018: 21,414
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days by Jean Brown Wagoner

Abigail Adams had an interesting life starting with the rush to baptize her because they thought she would die through becoming the second first lady and the first former first lady to later be the mother of a president. Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days focuses on her childhood, telling some of the more interesting highlights. It briefly covers her later years. It’s easy and quick to read. I highly recommend this book to kids who are studying or interested in Abigail Adams.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 88
Pages Read in 2018: 20,733
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

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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Filed under Biography