Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Five: People stories

The boys love animals very much, so much so that many of our stories involve animals, and talking ones at that (hey, I mean, the mouse and the Gruffalo talk to each other right?). However, we've also read our share of stories about the lives of real people, and here are some that we enjoyed:

:: Barnum's Bones, by Tracey Fern: I admit I got rather sick of reading all those non-fiction dinosaur books to Junior J, who is allowed to choose three dino books each time we visit the library. However, these stories about the lives of the early paleontologists appealed to both of us: Junior J got his dino fix and learnt how hard it was digging for bones, and I didn't have to stumble through terms like "Omeisaurus" and what-else-sauruses. This book is a picture biography on the life of Barnum Brown, who discovered the first documented skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Reading about Brown's adventures was interesting, and let me appreciate how tough his life must have been. (Another book we enjoyed was "Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon", which was based on the lesser-known Mary Anning, who as a child, discovered and excavated an ichthyosaur, and continued to become a self-taught paleontologist.)

:: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, by Margo Theis Raven: This is a true story that occurred during the Berlin Airlift, a rescue mission that used British and American planes to fly supplies into Berlin in 1948. We are introduced to seven year old Mercedes, a girl living in West Berlin, and Lt. Gail Halvorsen, a pilot who not only helped in providing supplies, but also dropped small candy-filled parachutes to the children. Mercedes writes to Lt. Halvorsen, and reading what happened after almost made me cry.

:: The Watcher, by Jeanette Winter: This picture book biography recounts the life of Jane Goodall, from her childhood, to her life studying chimpanzees and speaking for the need for conservation. You could also try reading "Me... Jane", which would be suitable for younger kids.

:: Tillie, The Terrible Swede, by Sue Stauffacher: This biography recounts the bicycle craze that swept America in the 1890s, and tells of the story of Tillie Anderson, whose dream was to ride bicycles... FAST. We read of how she trains, while facing criticism about her "unwomanly" riding and (then considered) inappropriate clothes, and how she achieves her dream of becoming a racing champion. While the story was a little lost on Junior J, I think this would be a good read for girls, and a refreshing change from all those princess story books that seem to make up part of every girl's reading diet.

:: Abe Lincoln, The Boy Who Loved Books, by Kay Winters: This simple story follows the life of Abraham Lincoln, and simple oil-on-canvas illustrations show his journey from "the wilderness to the White House".

What about you? Any children's biographies to recommend?

PS: Click here for more posts on good reads, or check out our FB folder, Rave Reads!
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Mum in the Making

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendations! I realise we don't read enough of these kinds of books. Shall check them out at the library :)



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