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Hot Topics! Reading List of...
Biographies!

Dead Famous.  Visit Horribles! for the whole Horrible collection!

Albert Einstein and His Inflatable Universe by Mike Goldsmith (or Amazon.co.uk)
Even though he's dead, Al's still full of surprises...
Al Capone and His Gang by Alan Alan MacDonald (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of Al Capone. He is dead famous for: being handy with a machine gun, having one or two scars and hanging around with a rather nasty gang. But have you heard that Al: lived with his mum all his life, was a trend-setter in banana-coloured suits and went bananas in Alcatraz prison?
Boudica and Her Barmy Army by Toby Brown (or Amazon.co.uk)
She is dead famous for: - galloping to battle in a rattling chariot - being big and kinda scary - getting very, very angry with her Roman rulers But have you heard that Boudica: - learned to use weapons when she was a little girl - chopped off the Emperor Claudius's head (well, sort of) - burned London to the ground?
Cleopatra and Her Asp by Margaret Simpson (or from the Amazon.co.uk Cleopatra and Her Asp)
Get the inside story with Cleo's secret diary, find out what the Romans thought in The Centurion and discover what the locals scrawled on the walls about her...
Elizabeth I and Her Conquests by Margaret Simpson (or Amazon.co.uk)
Get the inside story with Elizabeth's secret diary, pick up the latest gossip in The Tudor Tatler, and find out all about Lizzy's World and how she made her crucial conquests...
Elvis and His Pelvis by Michael Cox (or from the Amazon.co.uk Elvis and His Pelvis)
You've probably heard of Elvis... He is dead famous for: ...being the King of Rock 'n' Roll ...causing a riot with a wiggle of his pelvis. But have you heard that Elvis ...escaped from tornadoes by hiding in a cave ...flew halfway across America for 22 giant sandwiches ...had a tooth stuck in his lung?
Henry the VIII and His Chopping Block by Alan Alan MacDonald (or Amazon.co.uk)
He is dead famous for: having a bit of a weight problem, marrying six unlucky wives and getting very carried away with his chopping block. But have you heard that Henry: was a handsome hunk and a sports star, accused his second wife of witchcraft and bricked up his bedroom door at night?
Horatio Nelson and His Victory by Philip Reeve (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of Horatio Nelson... He is dead famous for: *courageously winning the Battle of Trafalgar. But have you heard that Horatio: *nearly got killed by a polar bear *ate rats and maggots *was pickled in a barrel of brandy?
Isaac Newton and his Apple by Toby Brown (or Amazon.co.uk)
He is dead famous for: discovering gravity, being a right clever dick and getting hit on the head with an apple. But have you heard that Isaac: came bottom of the class at school, poked sticks in his eye and nearly blinded himself and nearly got himself executed?
Inventors and Their Bright Ideas by Mike Goldsmith (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of a few inventors and their bright ideas... But have you heard that... *Bell didn't invent the phone, but he did make a weird machine out of hay and a human ear *Stevenson didn't invent the train, but he did spend a lot of time collecting gas in bladders *Baird's telly was useless, and so were his thermostatic socks?
Joan of Arc and Her Marching Orders by Phil Robins (or Amazon.co.uk)
Get the inside story with Joan's secret diary, read the news that set France ablaze in The Gallic Globe, and find out exactly how a teenage girl gave an entire army its marching orders...
Leonardo Da Vinci and His Super-brain by Michael Cox (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of Leonardo da Vinci... But have you heard that Leonardo: spent ten years making a seven-metre tall horse, thought pink was the coolest colour for clothes - loved to play practical jokes?
Mary Queen of Scots and Her Hopeless Husbands by Margaret Simpson (or Amazon.co.uk)
Mary Queen of Scots is dead famous for: having terrible taste in husbands, rotting away in Liz 1's prison and, totally losing her head - on the chopping block. But have you heard that Mary: was a six-foot stunner who had a charmed childhood, got kidnapped by a murderous lord - and married him, managed to give her executioner a fright or two?
Oliver Cromwell and His Warts by Alan MacDonald (or from the Amazon.co.uk Oliver Cromwell and His Warts)
How the Roundheads ousted the Royals!
Queen Victoria and Her Amusements by Alan MacDonald (or Amazon.co.uk)
She's dead famous for marrying a chap called Albert, wearing black clothes - all the time, and for saying "We are not amused". But have you heard that Queen Vic went on her holidays in disguise, was best pals with her Scottish servant and loved playing cards...for money?
Roald Dahl and His Chocolate Factory by Alan MacDonald (or Amazon.co.uk)
He's dead famous for writing loads of brilliant books for children, telling terrifying tales of the unexpected and creating a fantastic chocolate factory. But have you heard that Roald: was a fighter pilot and a spy in the Second World War, loved playing outrageous practical jokes, nearly lost his nose...twice?
Scientists and Their Mind-blowing Experiments by Mike Goldsmith (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of a few scientists. But did you know: that Galileo was sentenced to life in prison for his shocking ideas about the solar system?; that Newton wasn't all that keen on science?; that Darwin wrote a book about his pet worms?
Sir Francis Drake and His Daring Deeds by Andrew Donkin (or Amazon.co.uk)
Drake is probably best known for playing bowls and defeating the Spanish Armada, but this book also tells of his amazing adventures exploring the then unknown oceans of the world and his triumphant return to Plymouth and London...
Spartacus and His Glorious Gladiators by Toby Brown (or Amazon.co.uk)
From camping out in a volcano with his army to dealing with pirates, Spartacus' story is full of surprises...
William Shakespeare and His Dramatic Acts by Michael Cox (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of Elvis... He is dead famous for: ...being the King of Rock 'n' Roll ...causing a riot with a wiggle of his pelvis. But have you heard that Elvis ...escaped from tornadoes by hiding in a cave ...flew halfway across America for 22 giant sandwiches ...had a tooth stuck in his lung?
Winston Churchill and His Great Wars by Alan MacDonald (or Amazon.co.uk)
You've probably heard of Winston Churchill...He is dead famous for: smoking a massive cigar leading Britain to victory in World War II raising his fingers in a V sign. But have you heard that Winston: was a demon bricklayer had a fantastic collection of hats made a daring escape from prison?
Writers and Their Tall Tales by Andrew Donkin (or Amazon.co.uk)

For Younger Biographers...

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Dr. Mel Levine and Jarvis Clutch
Fictionalized biography of the mathematician and astronomer who realized his childhood desire to become a ship's captain and authored The American Practical Navigator (Also Carry On, Mr. Bowditch Study Guide)
Fandex Family Field Guides between a toy and a book, and lots of fun! 
With topics from history to nature and more, shaped cards include pictures and facts...  My kids love these!
bullet Shakespeare, Explorers, American Indians,
bullet Presidents, Civil War, Composers, Painters: Masters of Western Art,
bullet Mummies, Gods and Pharaohs, Mythology
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
Informative short biographies that focus on the subjects' personal lives and eccentricities rather than chronologies of their masterpieces
Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
This lively book discusses the public feats and private lives of 20 athletes, including Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Sonja Henie, Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson and more
Lives of the Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
Introduces the lives and loves, habits and hangouts of twenty composers, from Bach and Beethoven to Gershwin and Guthrie
Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
A collection of offbeat sketches, without being malicious or muckraking, varied in length to match the significance of the subject
Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
20 cleverly chosen authors, including ones children already know (Frances Burnett, E.B. White, Shakespeare) and ones they're unfamiliar with (Murasaki Shikibu and Zora Neale Hurston)

DK Biographies

Gandhi  by Amy Pastan Annie Oakley by Charles M. Wills
Pele by James Buckley Eleanor Roosevelt by Kem Knapp Sawyer
Princess Diana by Joanne Mattern George Washington by Lenny Hort
Charles Darwin by David C. King Joan of Arc by Kathleen V. Kudlinski (coming soon)
Amelia Earhart by Tanya Stone Benjamin Franklin by Stephen Krensky (coming soon)
Albert Einstein by Frieda Wishinsky Harry Houdini by Vicki Cobb
Helen Keller by Leslie Garrett Anne Frank by Kem Knapp Sawyer
Abraham Lincoln by Tanya Lee Stone John F Kennedy by Howard S. Kaplan
Nelson Mandela by Lenny Hort and Laaren Brown Martin Luther King Jr. by Amy Pastan
  Anne Frank by Kem Knapp Sawyer
DK Biographies are about 120 pages, with the strong photos that DK books are known for...
 

For Advanced and Subject Specific Biographers...

His Brother's Keeper: One Family's Journey to the Edge of Medicine by Edmund Blair Bolles
At the heart of this report of gene therapy and other regenerative medicine techniques lies a simple, heartbreaking question: "What would you do to save your brother's life?" When Stephen Heywood, a 29-year-old carpenter, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), his older brother, Jaime, launched his own research project to search for a cure...
One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey by Neal Thompson
Explores the man whose walk on the moon is still compared to humankind's progenitor's crawl out of the primordial ooze. And whose retreat back to a farm in his native Ohio soon after the last ticker tape confetti fell, has left him looked upon as a reclusive hermit ever since.  This is the true story of a national hero, whose life long quest to walk on the moon truly mirrors our best selves...
The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein
In the summer of 1995, a teenager in a Detroit suburb, a mediocre student with a relentless scientific curiosity, managed to build a rudimentary nuclear breeder reactor in a shed behind his mother's house, using radioactive elements obtained from items as ordinary as smoke detectors. He got so far along in his efforts that when the Feds finally caught up with him...
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Dr. Richard Feynman
A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication...
Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney
Explores the brilliant and prescient mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors. Called a madman by his enemies, a genius by others, and an enigma by nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was, without a doubt, a trailblazing inventor who created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming devices that were virtually without theoretical precedent...

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