Anyone got suggestions on inspiring biographies, particularly concerning people who have been quirky or different or have had particular difficulties but have perservered? So far, we have looked at Albert Einstein, Helen Kellar and Dr Seuss. On the cards are Mandela, Gandhi and possibly Anne Frank. Further suggestions?
The book I bought for our local school's GATE class was 'John Britten The boy who did do better' by Jennifer Beck. My children also have a copy each - it's published by Scholastic. I'm sure you must know who John Britten was - the NZer who designed and built a race motorbike from scratch which then went on to beat the worlds best bikes. He also built other projects from a very young age - despite being very dyslexic and told pretty much that he was stupid from a young age by teachers. Having a gifted child with a learning difficulty/ difference, this book has been well read and loved by our family. He was an absolutely amazing man and the fact that he was from NZ and in recent times - the children are able to relate to him well.
I highly recommend this book!
Emmeline Pankhurst -suffragette movement.
Martin Luther King -civil rights.
I remember these from childhood and used as examples in a winning essay on 'making of changes'.
What age/level children are you targetting the books for?
Your child could probably chose well from the summaries on this site. It is catagorised by area of interest e.g. mathematicians, etc. Obviously the library and web for further info.
At about 11 years old I remember reading many biographies from the library both written for children and some adult ones.
I've had a look here at home and most of the adult-targetted ones e.g. inspirational athletes etc would not be suitable for an 8 year old due to the level of life experience necessary to enjoy them.
My thought is that older historical figures would be better to avoid the 'tell all, scandal' type writing that is not appropriate for an 8 year old.
I do remember a values series that was good. Particularly one about Margaret Mead, maybe 'the value of understanding', quick search reveals:
and now I have the list:
At this time, the first twelve books in The New ValueTales® 24 book series are available. These are:
1. The Value Of Believing in Yourself: The Story of Louis Pasteur.
2. The Value of Honesty: The Story of Confucius.
3. The Value of Fairness: The Story of Nellie Bly
4. The Value of Courage: The Story of Jackie Robinson.
5. The Value of Sharing: The Story of the Mayo Brothers.
6. The Value of Humor: The Story of Will Rogers.
7. The Value of Learning: The Story of Marie Curie.
8. The Value of Helping: The Story of Harriet Tubman.
9. The Value of Understanding: The Story of Margaret Mead.
10. The Value of Patience: The Story of the Wright Brothers.
11. The Value of Respect: The Story of Abraham Lincoln.
12. The Value of Friendship: The Story of Jane Addams.
Hope that helps. I've been thinking about this series for a while and will now head to library catalogue to see if I can get some out. My children have challenges with some of these values and I know they'll enjoy these as I did, such a lot.
They may be a bit simple for your boy Dinglemouse but the individuals might be worth looking into.
Hi Linda, thanks for that list of books I found one at home on the Value of Believing in Yourself and my son (age 8 reading level 14) found it entertaining, so I went onto trademe and found a whole lot of them which have arrived, he is working his way through them at a great speed. One drawback that was unforeseen...., each day my husband and I are now given a book with an accompanying lecture on why it is important that we read that particular one as we need to learn that value. The other day he got a growling for climbing the gate rather than opening it, so he thought his father should read the value of curiousity as 'if he had been curious he would have thought mmm why is he climbing the gate I had better ask him', instead of growling. I got the value of patience two days later after becoming tired of the delay in making his bed and leaving the room 'you need to learn patience as you could have thought mmm maybe I need to give him more time or find out whether he is having any problems'. I did also get the value of caring (which I was pleased to receive) with the accompanying talk about how well I care for others. They also provide the opportunity for him to learn about historical figures. Never a dull moment!
Re: unforeseen drawbacks. Maybe you could add 'The value of not talking back -a story of better Christmas presents'. Your son sounds like an exciting boy to be around. My son is 4 (read/comp 9) so I'm back down your path a few years!
Your posting cracked me up big time - it sounds just like my boy! He found my copy of Nigel Latta's 'Before Your Kids Drive You Crazy, Read This' the other day. His immediate response was "but Mummy, I've already driven you crazy" (a clear case of 'the horse has already bolted'). He went away for a few minutes, only to return and announce that he was going to write his own book and sell it at school. The title? 'Read This Before the Adults Get The Better of You' apparantly. I'm sure that he will find quite a market for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh Linda, you have some interesting and challenging times ahead of you, keep sane!! (though that's not always easy).
Dinglemouse I think my son may be your son's first customer. He is currently doing his spelling (we homeschool) and has come up with a system to learn his words (which hasn't been his strong point previously as he is profoundly visual spatial (99.7th percentile)). The system includes something about circling parts of the words which aren't there which appears to have something to do with the words within words and those words aren't complete and somehow doing this helps him learn another word - see now you understand why I don't understand his system, however it seems to be helping.
He also descibed the issues with his tangential thoughts and his tendency to be all over the place in conversation the other day when he said it's like having a enourmous swarm of bees in his head each carrying a piece of information and he can't get them to slow down or into some kind of order which is why he can appear dreamy and scattered.
He has now handed me his spelling book and it's far more complicated than I thought, I now have diagrams of words with bits missing and then some form of geometric equation looking thing with parts numbered and the 'missing' letters circled, however so long as he understands it.
Tiz Me if you read this maybe you could help me understand the visual spatial strategy he may be employing - it's got me lost, wish you could see what he's done that might make more sense.
This is an old link but I remember those books from my childhood. The one of believing in yourself I remember bringing that one to school when I had just turned six as we had to bring in our fav books so the teacher could read them to us. I remember overhearing a converstation with my Mum and that teacher. "Do you read her this often? It is rather long" "No she reads it to herself all the time" I couldn't read before school but I moved up the levels fast.
I see they have now brought out the books again as a treasury of 5 books with more to come. I have brought one for my children and waiting for it to arrive.