Middle School Boys: Biography

John Fleischman. Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science. (Houghton Mifflin,

Dick Houston.
Bulu: African Wonder Dog. (Random House, 2010)
A cute little dog story on a boys and books list? Well, this cute little story is true, and this dog adopts
warthogs and fights lions. This is more than a dog story, it is a safari into the wild African bush, with
hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, and real life adventure to spare.

Gail Jarrow. Lincoln's Flying Spies: Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps. (Calkins Creek,
How did man first fly? Who made up the first US Air Force? Don't think planes or the Wright Brothers,
think balloons and Thaddeus Lowe. Four decades before Kitty Hawk, and five decades before World
War One, a few brave men went thousands of feet above enemy lines, hanging from a silk balloon, to
spy out the Confederate forces. Artillary shells burst around them, generals dismissed them, storms
sent them careening, but the Balloon Corps played their part in American history, even if that history
has gone untold for too long. Now read their heroic true story.

Nawuth Keat. Alive in the Killing Fields: The True Story of Nawuth Keat, a Khmer Rouge Survivor.
(National Geographic Children's Books, 2009)
A true-life survival story written by someone who grew up in the midst of civil and outright war in a
land s distant and different as any in the world.

Jerome Pohlen. Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids: His Life and Ideas With 21 Activities and
Thought Experiments
. (Chicago Review Press, 2012)
Edwin Hubble, the famous astronomer, was showing a German couple the Mount Wilson Observatory
when he told them that this most advanced telescope in the world was used to determine the shape
and nature of the universe. The women replied, “Oh, my husband does that on the back of an old
envelope.” The woman was Elsa Einstein, and her husband was Albert. Albert Einstein was born with
a funny-shaped head, out of which would come all the secrets of the universe, the basis of the atomic
bomb, a lifelong dedication to passivism, and a brain that would eventually end up in a cookie jar in
Kansas. What a ride.

Jon Sieszka. Knucklehead. (Viking, 2008)

Shelley Sommer.
Hammerin' Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer. (Calkins Creek, 2011)
In the 1930's and 1940's, sports went a long way towards breaking down barriers. We all know about
Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Jesse Owens, but few people know the story of Hank Greenberg, the
first great Jewish baseball player, who fought through descrimination to win two MVP awards and the
respect of a nation for his character, his patriotism, and his homerun swing.

Michael O. Tunnell. Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot". (Charlesbridge,
The US military is, and has long been, about more than winnin g wars. They also try to win the hearts
and minds of peoples they come in contact with around the world, and sometimes we need to be
reminded of the best of the US Military tradition. The Berlin Airlift "Candy Bomber" is one
great example. Also check out
Saving the Baghdad Zoo, by Kelly Milner Halls and William Graham
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teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, expert on boys and reading.