There are a lot more genres of biographies than we have listed here, but they aren't included because we simply don't have titles to put in them. Again, these categories are in place to help you narrow the focus of your search, and to find the book you need with as little frustration as possible.
Autobiographies & Memoirs are books written by the person about whom they're about. Autobiographies are explicitly biographical, written in order to impart information about the author's life and context; memoirs, on the other hand, are often more creative, and are usually about something bigger than the details of the subject's life.
While we don't encourage getting all your history from fiction (or even most of it), a good Biographical Novel will combine the best elements of fiction and biography into a personal portrait that imparts both the essence of the subject's life, and the cultural context in which he or she lived. Plus, they're just more fun to read.
You won't find any of these for people who lived more than a couple hundred years ago, but Photobiographies can be especially useful for helping readers understand the person and era they're learning about. Often times these don't have as much outright information as a more traditional biography, but enough quality photographs are a good compensation.
For younger kids (though there are some great ones for older readers, too), Picture Book Biographies help us visualize who it is we're reading about....or simply keep us interested. The best ones do both, and the very best ones do both while still highlighting the artist's vision and interpretation of people and events.
Different genres will fill different needs; if you're working on a big project or unit study, it's a good idea to select titles from all of them. The goal of listing them here is to help narrow your search; as our collection expands, we'll likely be adding genres to the list, and shaping your search results in increasingly precise and illuminating ways.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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