Biographical 6-9




A biography book is classified by the facts and events that a person or group of people have gone through.  Most often children's books have taken liberties with true events and fictionalized some biographies instead of adhering to strict facts.  However, that trend is changing.



By: Gary Paulsen


Reviewer: Brandon Berrey

Grade Level: 8-12

Reading Level: 7.2

Gary Paulsen started his family in Northern Minnesota.  He was the epitome of a woodsman.  Instead of working in a stuffy office for a living he was a hunter, trapper, and fisherman.  Unlike most woodsman in the north he did not run dogs or, in other words, he did not own a dogsled team.  This all changed at around the age of 40, which is late in life to get into the game.  At first he would run his small dog team along his 20 mile long trapping runs.  As his team grew his runs would become longer until one day he saw something that changed his outlook.  He ran across a deer being hunted and killed by a pack of northern coyotes.  At this point he no longer wanted to hunt or trap.  He saw too much beauty and intelligence in nature to kill any long.  The story continues wil all the wodners he sees in nature and what he learned from his dogs, which numbered close to 100.  It then rounds out with his adventure in the Iditarod, the famous Alaskan dogsled race.



The Adventures of Marco Polo


The Adventures of Marco Polo

By: Russell Freedman



Reviewer: Mike Slowinski

Grade Level: 5-9

Reading Level: 7.5

Who is Marco Polo? Besides the famous poolside game, what do we really know about this man? In The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman, you can read all about the explorations of this infamous man of mystery. Find out about his travels from Italy to the heart of the Khan dynasty, where Polo witnessed previously unknown lands of prosperity where tigers and eagles hunt for nobleman and great tamed lions bow down to the feet of the emperor. The book details the journeys and life of the young 17 year old boy, and trace them through the perilous deserts of the Middle East, to confrontations with pirates and evil spirits, to an encounter with the great Kublai Khan who had developed a modern economy based on paper money and a tolerance for religious freedom. This is an excellently written account of Marco Polo's life that encompasses all of the truths and mysteries behind his famous deathbed words, "I have only told the half of what I saw."

Gary Paulsen: Voice of Adventure and Survival



Barack Obama

By: Sherri and Mark Devaney



Reviewer: Joseph Diefenthaler

Grade Level: 5-8

Reading Level: 8.9


Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and his father left to study at Harvard when Barack was two.  When he was six, he moved to Indonesia with his mother.  When he turned 10, his mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attend an elite prep school.  During this time he began noticing he was different because his mother was white and his father was from Kenya.  The book continues by discussing his struggles with race, education, and experiences that led him into politics.