Biographies to inspire kids

We’ve all been talking a lot about Steve Jobs and the impact he had on our world, so it’s no surprise that PW announced recently that Feiwel and Friends is doing a quickie bio of him for kids.

I think it’s important for kids of all ages to be exposed to greatness and to learn about influential people outside of their own often sheltered lives who forged their own path to success. He’s the kind of person I’d like my kids to emulate (well, maybe not the dropping out of college part).

It got me wondering about other leaders of industry or culture I’d like to see profiled in book form for kids. Adults seem to have their bases pretty well covered. Some days it seems that anyone who has ever appeared on television has a book deal, but I don’t think the same is necessarily true for the children’s market.

Is there anyone you’d like to see written about in this way for children? There are a few who come to mind for me. Oprah Winfrey has already been done, for several ages. And I love the cover illustration on this Hillary Rodham Clinton book for kids. Dorothy Rodham, Hillary’s mom, just died at 92 so perhaps there is a book in that. Michael J. Fox continues to inspire in his fight against Parkinson’s. Lucille Ball, followed by Gilda Radner, showed that women can be smart, and funny, even when faced with adversity. And J.K. Rowling proved that with the right combination of talent, persistence, and imagination, anything is possible. I’d like to teach my kids about all of these amazing people who helped to change the world for the better.

I know there are countless others. Let us know your ideas and maybe we can find a way to make it happen!

3 Responses to Biographies to inspire kids

  1. J.K. Rowling for sure, given the popularity of her work, her persistence and life story, and her philanthropy. Other than that, I really liked reading about scientists growing up, and the severe cuts to the space program, etc., have really saddened me as an adult. Biographies of astronauts and other influential scientists would be GREAT for kids. So would people who have brought a lot of attention to conservation and the like. I’m sure kids would be interested in reading about Steve Irwin, for example.

  2. Kiana says:

    To be honest, there are some absolutely fascinating people in history who can be inspiring. When I was a kid I read biographies about Abigail Adams and Helen Keller. If Helen Keller doesn’t inspire you to do something with your life, then nothing will.

    I went through the biography section of the library looking for those great biographies that I read when I was a kid, and now it’s all celebrities. It was rather depressing.

  3. Rebecca Downey says:

    Percy Julian. He was an African American chemist who studied plant sterols and is considered the father of birth control pills, testosterone, and other great finds.

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