The books on this page are intended to inspire young writers to compose nonfiction writing including biographies and informational texts.

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Boy: Tales of Childhood. Roald Dahl. Puffin Books, 2009

Bill Peet: An Autobiography. HMH Books for Young Readers, 1989

When I Was Nine. James Stevenson. Greenwillow, 1989.

Shortcut. Donald Crews. Greenwillow, 1996

26 Fairmont Avenue, Tomie DePaola. Puffin Books, 2002

I am Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks with Jim Haskins. Illustrated by Will Clay. Puffin Books, 1997

A Poem for Peter. The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day. Andrea Davis Pinkney. Pictures by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson. Viking, 2016.

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Telling a Story About Me: Young Children Write Autobiographies, National Council of Teachers of English


Biographies of Women Change Makers


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Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon. Jeannine Atkins. Illustrated by Michael Dooling. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.


Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. Laurie Wallmark. Illustrated by April Chu. Creston Books, 2015.


Grace Hopper: The First Woman to Program the First Computer in the United States. Christy Marx. Rosen Publishing Group, 2003.

Beatrix Potter blowfish drawing, 1895
Beatrix Potter blowfish drawing, 1895

Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box. David McPhail. Henry Holt and Company, 2015.
  • The author of Peter Rabbit books also made important contributions to the field of botany, including detailed observations and drawings of algae and fungi.


Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell. Tanya Lee Stone. Illustrated by Majorie Priceman. Henry Holt & Co, 2013.


I am Helen Keller. Brad Meltzer. Illustrated by Christopher Eliopolous. Dial Books, 2014


Maria's Comet. Deborah Hopkinson. Illustrated by Deborah Lanino. Aladdin Books, 2003.


She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. Audrey Veronica. Illustrated by Don Tate. Balzer & Bray, 2011.
  • The story of the first woman inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame

See also:
Heart, Head, Hands and Feet. A collection of picture book biographies about individuals whose childhood interests became their adult contributions to society.


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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is a fictional autobiography of a castaway on a topical island.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 12.54.20 PM.pngLink to the complete text of **The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe** (1919)



Link to **The Real Robinson Crusoe** from Smithsonian.com



Link to **Debunking the Myth of the "Real" Robinson Crusoe** from National Geographic (September 28, 2016)



Video Clip from Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1954) from Turner Classic Movies






Autobiography Selections



Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, Lemony Snicket, HarperCollins, 2012



Biography Selections


Link to Yearly Listing of Notable Social Studies Trade Books from the National Council for the Social Studies