Biography for Young Adults

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Article in Young Adult Fiction and Biography categories.

"There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also, it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed." Sir Walter Scott, 1838

The author remembered the mentor from his college days, but had lost track of him. Now, twenty years later, he has another opportunity to rekindle the relationship, only his mentor is dying. Their time together is turned into one final "class" on how to live.
The author interviews fifty-one teenagers from all walks of life, and they reveal their feelings about family, religion, school, peer pressure, race, sex, and drugs. Included with the interviews are photographs of the teenagers where they live.
Teenagers from the United States and their bedrooms are chronicled in this pictorial work.
The author, one of the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957, recalls in clear detail the integration of this high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. These teenagers became reluctant warriors -- on a battlefield that helped shape the civil rights movement.
  • My Life in Dog Years by / Gary Paulsen; with drawings by Ruth Wright Paulsen. The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines: Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life.
The author shares the story of his youth as he takes the readers into the life of the little mining town in West Virginia where he grew up, and into the life of the boys who came to embody both its tensions and its dreams.
The author describes hiking the Appalachian Trail. This hike is a matter of courage because the one hiking the trail is blind.
The author recalls her experiences as a teen in China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's. Her family's past makes them enemies of the new government, and Ji-Li can either turn her back on them for a fulfilling and secure future in the New China, or become an outcast as well.
The author's extraordinary account follows his parents' flight from China's political turmoil.
The author recalls her unusual childhood in Egypt during the 1930s and 1940s. When she is twelve years old, she sees her childhood come to an abrupt and traumatic end.
The author, an Arab born in Cairo, gives his personal and reflective commentary on situations and events that have lodged themselves in his memory and influenced him in some way.
The author, former Senator George McGovern, addresses a private tragedy, the alcohol-induced death of his daughter.
On December 1, 1955, the author refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Now, decades after her quiet defiance inspired the modern civil rights movement, the author addresses her life, her passion for freedom and equality, and her strong faith.
The author writes about the devastating illness of the manic depressive, in this case, her son. This tribute to her lost son is a gift of life, hope, healing, and understanding to us all.
The author recalls her family's unsuccessful struggle to hide from the Nazis, and their subsequent attempt to survive the horrible conditions of the concentration camps. And see other books on the Holocaust for teens.
  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
An autobiographical graphic novel that explores how a girl's dental problems affect her self-image, starting with an accident that knocks out her two front teeth in the 6th grade.
Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at "pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here," Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell.
How did Jon Scieszka get so funny? He grew up as one of six brothers with Catholic school, lots of comic books, lazy summers at the lake with time to kill, babysitting misadventures, TV shows, and jokes told at family dinner.