Biographies are a great way to introduce kids to important people in history or in modern times. Well-written biographies do that in a fun way. They expose children to historical time periods, scientific concepts, politics, business, sports, and movements in music and art.
This is a list of chapter book biography series that are appropriate for elementary to middle school kids. Many of these books are affordable at about $5 to $6 per book. Some are available on Audible, so you can listen to them in the car. And don't forget to check your local library.
Who Was Series
The Who Was (or sometimes Who Is or Who Were) books can be read to first to 2nd graders and up. They are easy to understand yet also provide a lot of information. There are several books in this series covering a lot of topics like history (George Washington, Paul Revere) politics (Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama), entertainment (The Beatles, Harry Houdini, Louis Armstrong), art (Claude Monet, Leonardo Da Vinci), science (Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton) and business (Steve Jobs).
The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers
There are 22 books in The Story Of series including Simone Biles, Harriet Tubman, Alexander Hamilton, Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Fred Rogers, and Stan Lee. They are aimed at kids aged between six and nine. All of these books are available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, which allows unlimited reading of over a million books, making it an affordable way to introduce children to several great biographies.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Who
This book is aimed at 4 to 8-year-olds. It introduces a diverse group of historical and modern figures, such as scientists, political figures, activists, musicians, adventurers, and writers. It has profiles and mini-profiles.
Individuals covered in the main profiles are King Tut, Aristotle, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Sequoyah, Sacagawea, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Blackwell, Isabella Bird, Matthew Henson, Marie Curie, Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Golda Meir, Ansel Adams, Frida Kahlo, Tenzing Norgay, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., Neil Armstrong, Dong Zhiming, The Beatles, Michelle Bachelet, and Malala Yousafzai.
Time for Kids Biographies
This is an excellent series for approximately 7 to 11-year-olds. The books are easy for younger kids to understand or read by themselves. Some of the figures covered are George Washington, Clara Barton, John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson, Henry Ford, and Rosa Parks.
History Maker Bios
This is another great series for 1st to second grade and up. The pages have some colorful pictures and lots of photographs unlike the Who Was series which mainly uses black and white illustrations. These books are only about 50 pages in length versus about 100 for Who Was. They cover some very interesting people, like Milton Hershey, Levi Strauss, W. K. Kellogg, Dolly Madison, and John Deere.
BIOGRAPHIES for Kids - Favorite Homeschool Resources
DK Biography Series
The DK Biography series is best for around 4th grade and up. These books are a good follow-up to the Who Was and History Maker series. This series has biographies for many interesting people like Marie Curie, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, and Nelson Mandela. The series also covers important early presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
This is another good series for about 5th grade through middle school. The series has books on Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Jacques Cousteau, Davy Crockett, Anne Frank, and Chief Joseph. They are about 130 pages in length.
More Great Chapter Books for Kids
- Mystery Chapter Books for Young Children
This is a list of mystery and crime solving books for 4 to 10 year olds (preschoolers and elementary age kids).
- Great Chapter Books and Classic Books for 7 Year Olds
Finding good books for 7 year olds can be a challenge. This is a list of chapter books and classic books that my 7 year old loved. These books are great for both boys and girls.
© 2012 LT Wright
LT Wright (author) from California on October 06, 2012:
Thanks. They are really good. I'm currently building up a collection of them.
Rich from Kentucky on October 05, 2012:
These look like great tools for kids. I'll definitely have to let my daughter in on these for the grandkids. Great Job!