Author Vicki Conrad Shares Favorite Picture Book Biographies

We asked the author of Just Like Beverly, a new picture book biography of Beverly Cleary, to share her favorite biographies for children in this Nightstand Reads post. Here are five picks from Vicki Conrad:

As a child, the Ramona Series was dear to my heart. I truly felt so much like her. My two favorite books are Ramona and her Mother, and Ramona and her Father. I also loved The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

My 5 Favorite Biographies, right now:

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson
This book is packed with scientific information, but with lovely poetic language. It is a quiet gem.

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
I have loved this story for years. I read it when I was a classroom teacher, my students always wanted to know more about his life.

The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle
We can never grow tired of the women who were brave enough to break through barriers. Rhyme, colorful illustrations, and an unusual topic make this worth the read.

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge by Rachel Dougherty
Part lesson in engineering and architecture, part story of a woman blazing a new trail. Emily Roebling basic took over construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, by studying engineering all by herself. This books shows children and adults we are all responsible for our own learning, and you can figure hard things out with persistence.

When Marian Sang: the True Recital of Marian Anderson, the Voice of a Century by Pam Munoz Ryan
This book literally sings with a lyrical lilt and poetic language. It is masterfully written so you can almost hear her singing voice as you read. It is an older book, but she is a woman worth knowing about and the writing is brilliant.

Vicki Conrad is a Seattle author and also a teacher with a passion for literacy development and inspiring students to love reading just as much as she did as a child. As a young girl, Beverly Cleary struggled to learn to read and found most children’s books dull and uninteresting. She often wondered if there were any books about kids just like her. With hard work, and the encouragement of her parents and a special teacher, she learned to read and at a young age discovered she had a knack for writing. Just Like Beverly, illustrated by David Hohn and published by Little Bigfoot (Sasquatch Books) follows this beloved author’s journey. Meet Vicki and hear more about Just Like Beverly at the University Book Store on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m.

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