May 012018
Calamity jane.jpeg

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane (born Martha Jane Canary in Princeton, Missouri, 1852; died Terry, South Dakota, August 1, 1903) was a well-known frontier woman and scout.

Scott Carpenter (born Boulder, Colorado, 1925; died Denver, Colorado, October 10, 2013) was one of the seven original US astronauts. He was launched into space on May 24, 1962. The fourth American to travel in space, he circled the earth three times. Aboard Aurora 7, he conducted five experiments in the five-hour voyage. He was the first astronaut to eat solid food in space. Children could learn more at: Scott Carpenter.

Ingrid Law (born New York State, 1970) writes books for children. Savvy received a 2009 Newbery Honor Award, and many children like Scumble as well. Children can learn more at: Ingrid Law.

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May 022018
Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great (born Stettin, now Szczecin, Poland, 1729; died St. Petersburg, Russia, November 17, 1796) was Empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She is credited with making Russia into a modern state.


Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy (born Colchester, Ontario, Canada, 1844; died Eloise, Michigan, October 10, 1929) was an inventor. The son of runaway slaves, he patented over 50 inventions. His most famous invention was a way to lubricate train engines as they worked. His name is honored with the phrase, “the Real McCoy.”

Mary Quattlebaum (born Bryan, Texas, 1958) writes books for children. Her books include the Jackson Jones series and A Year on My Street. Children can learn more at: Mary Quattlebaum.

Susan Richards Shreve (born Toledo, Ohio, 1939) writes books for children and adults. Her books include the Joshua T. Bates series and The Lovely Shoes. Her book Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree, Shrinks received the Edgar Award in 1988. Children could visit her website at: Susan Shreve.

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May 032018

Mavis Jukes (born Nyack, New York, 1947) writes books for children. Her books include No One Is Going to Nashville and Blackberries in the Dark. She received a 1985 Newbery Honor Award for Like Jake and Me.

Golda Meir

Golda Meir (born Golda Mabovitz in Kiev, Ukraine, 1898; died Jerusalem, Israel, December 8, 1978) moved to the United States in 1906. She left the United States for Palestine in 1921. It was divided into Israel and an Arab state in 1948. She served in various government capacities in Israel and was its Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974.

One Photo by Jacob Riis

One Photo by Jacob Riis

Jacob August Riis (born Ribe, Denmark, 1849; died Barre, Massachusetts, May 26, 1914) was a journalist and a photographer. He came to the United States in 1870 and found employment as a carpenter. He became a reporter and concentrated on the plight of the poor and on child labor. His works brought about changes in city housing, parks, and schools. He was one of the first photographers to use flash bulbs. Children can view some of his works at: Project Gutenberg. Children could read the excellent book Immigrant Kids by Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, and Russell Freedman.

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May 042018

Doug Cushman (born Springfield, Ohio, 1953) has written and/or illustrated at least 125 books for children. His books include the Aunt Eater series and the Dirk Bones series. Children can learn more at: Doug Cushman.

Horace Mann (born Franklin, Massachusetts, 1796; died Yellow Springs, Ohio, August 2, 1859) is known as “the father of public education in the United States.” He was the editor of the Common School Journal. Idea: Children could find out more about Mann and his ideas about education.

Julia Gardiner Tyler

Julia Gardiner Tyler (born Gardiner’s Island, New York, 1820; died Richmond, Virginia, July 10, 1889) was the second wife of John Tyler, tenth president of the United States. They were married while he was still president. Siding toward the Confederacy, John Tyler died before the beginning of the Civil War. Later, Congress voted to give her a pension. Children could visit a website at: Julia Gardiner Tyler.

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May 052018

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly (born Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, 1867; died New York, New York, January 22, 1922) was perhaps the leading female journalist of her time. She worked for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on working conditions, slum life and other topics. She moved to New York and worked on Pulitzer’s New York World. She pretended to be insane, and she was institutionalized. She then reported on the extreme conditions she found there. Perhaps her most exciting adventure came when she followed the route of Jules Verne’s imaginary Phileas Fogg and traveled around the world in 72 days. Children could listen to audio-copies of her books at: Project Gutenberg.
Children could also read Bonnie Christensen’s The Daring Nellie Bly: America’s Star Reporter.

J. Patrick Lewis (born Gary, Indiana, 1942) writes poetry and books for children. His books include the Tugg and Tiny series and What’s Looking at You, Kid? Children can learn more at: J. Patrick Lewis.

Inch by Inch

Leo Lionni (born Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1910; died Chianti, Italy, October 11, 1999) was an author and illustrator of over 40 books. He earned four Caldecott Honor Awards: Inch by Inch in 1961, Swimmy in 1964, Frederick in 1968, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse in 1970.

Todd Strasser (born New York, New York, 1950) has written more than 120 books for middle-grade children. His books include The Wave and Thief of Dreams. Children can learn more at: Todd Strasser.

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May 062018

Judy Delton (born Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1931; died Saint Paul, Minnesota, December 31, 2001) wrote books for children. Her books include The Goose Who Wrote a Book and Angel in Charge. Children can learn more at: Judy Delton.

Sigmund Freud (born Freiberg, Moravia, 1856; died London, England, September 23, 1939) changed the field of psychiatry. He believed that most behavior was caused by unconscious parts of the brain.

Ted Lewin (born Buffalo, New York, 1935) has written and/or illustrated at least 100 books for children. He often works with his wife Betsy. His illustrations in Peppe the Lamplighter earned him a 1994 Caldecott Honor Award. Children can learn more at: Ted Lewin.

Giulio Maestro (born New York, New York, 1942) has illustrated over 125 books for children. Many of those books were written by his wife Betsy. He has also written some riddle books.

Willie Mays

Willie Mays

Willie Mays (born Westfield, Alabama, 1931) is a former baseball player. An outfielder, he hit 660 homeruns during his career. He is remembered for making a spectacular catch during the 1954 World Series. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Robert E. Peary (born Cresson, Pennsylvania, 1856; died Washington, DC, February 20, 1920) was an explorer. He led eight expeditions to the Arctic. He claimed he found the North Pole on April 6, 1909. Children could learn more at: Peary.

John Penn (born Caroline County, Virginia, 1740; died Williamsburg, North Carolina, September 14, 1788) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented North Carolina. A lawyer, he also signed the Articles of Confederation. Idea: Children could read about a duel he almost fought.

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May 072018

Johannes Brahms (born Hamburg, Germany, 1833; died Vienna, Austria, April 3, 1897) was a great classical composer of concertos, symphonies and chamber music. Experts believe his strength was his ability to produce a theme and then to modify it as the music went on.

Nonny Hogrogian (born New York, New York, 1932) is an author and illustrator. She has won two Caldecott Medals, for Always Room for One More in 1966 and for One Fine Day in 1972.

Edwin H. Land

Edwin Herbert Land (born Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1909; died Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 1, 1991) was an inventor and a scientist. He created the Polaroid Land camera, and he held more than 500 patents.

Peter Tchaikovsky (born Votinsk, Russia, 1840; died Saint Petersburg, Russia, November 6, 1893) was a composer. He created six symphonies, three ballets, and eleven operas. Two of his ballets were Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Deborah Wiles (born Mobile, Alabama, 1953) writes books for children. Her books include the Aurora County Trilogy and The Sixties Project. Children can learn more at: Deborah Wiles.

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May 082018

Ellen Howard (born New Bern, South Carolina, 1943) writes books for children. Her books include the Log Cabin series and The Crimson Cap.

Milton Meltzer (born Worcester, Massachusetts, 1915; died New York, New York, September 19, 2009) wrote books for children. His books include Piracy and Plunder and Bound for America.

Journey Outside

Journey Outside

Mary Q. Steele (born Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1922; died Chapel Hill, North Carolina, July 6, 1992) wrote books for children and adults. Married to author William O. Steele, she stated that she was born an author. Her book Journey Outside received a 1970 Newbery Honor Award.

Harry Truman

Harry Truman

Harry Truman (born Lamar, Missouri, 1884; died Kansas City, Missouri, December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third president (1945-1953) of the United States. During World War I he served as an artilleryman  He was a senator before he was elected vice-president. When Roosevelt died, Truman became president. Some of his actions were to join the United Nations, to accept Germany’s surrender during World War II, and to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. Children could visit a website at: Harry Truman. Truman made an interesting statement. He said, “The buck stops here.”

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May 092018

Richard George Adams (born United Kingdom, 1920; died United Kingdom, December 24, 2016 ) was a writer. He is most famous for his fantasy book, Watership Down.

J. M. Barrie (born Kirriemuir, Scotland, 1860; died London, England, June 19, 1937) was an author. One of his works was Peter Pan. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg. They can also learn more at: J. M. Barrie.

Belle Boyd

Belle Boyd

Belle Boyd (born Martinsburg, Virginia, 1843; died Kilbourne, Wisconsin, June 11, 1900) was a Confederate spy. After the Civil War, she was an actress and speaker. Children can learn more at: Belle Boyd.

John Brown

John Brown

John Brown (born Torrington, Connecticut, 1800; hanged Charles Town, West Virginia, December 2, 1859) was an abolitionist. He led a raid on Harpers Ferry in the cause of abolition. He was caught and hanged. Children could learn more about him and his raid at: John Brown.

Howard Carter (born Kensington, London, United Kingdom, 1873; died Kensington, London, United Kingdom, March 2, 1939) was an archaeologist. He discovered King Tut’s tomb. Older children could read In the Valley of the Kings: Howard Carter and the Mystery of King Tutankhamen’s Tomb by Daniel Meyerson.

William Pène du Bois (born Nutley, New Jersey, 1916; died Nice, France, February 5, 1993) wrote and illustrated children’s books. He received the 1948 Newbery Medal for The Twenty-One Balloons. His Bear Party was a 1952 Caldecott Honor Book, and Lion was a 1957 Caldecott Honor Book. Children can learn more at: du Bois.

Eleanor Estes (born West Haven, Connecticut, 1906; died West Haven, Connecticut, July 15, 1988) wrote and illustrated at least 20 books for children. She earned three Newbery Honor Awards: The Middle Moffat in 1943, Rufus M. in 1944, and The Hundred Dresses in 1945. She received the 1952 Newbery Medal for Ginger Pye. Children can learn more at: Eleanor Estes.

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May 102018

Caroline B. Cooney (born Geneva, Connecticut, 1943) has written at least 75 mystery, romance, and suspense novels for young adults. Her books include The Face on the Milk Carton and What Janie Found. Young adults can learn more at: Caroline B. Cooney.

Christopher Paul Curtis (born Flint, Michigan, 1953) is an author. His book The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 was a 1996 Newbery Honor Book and a 1996 Coretta Scott King Honor Book. His Bud, Not Buddy was awarded the 2000 Newbery Award and the 2000 Coretta Scott King Medal. Also, Elijah of Buxton received a 2008 Newbery Honor Award, the 2008 Coretta Scott King Award, and the 2008 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction! Children can visit his website at:

Judith Jamison (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1944) is a dancer and a choreographer.

Bruce McMillan (born 1947) has written at least 45 books for children. His works include Nights of the Pufflings and The Problem with Chickens. Children can learn more at: Bruce McMillan.


George Ross

George Ross (born New Castle, Delaware, 1730; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 14, 1779) signed the Declaration of Independence. He moved from Delaware to Pennsylvania and became a lawyer. Initially he was a prosecutor for the Crown, but he ultimately sided with the revolutionaries. He was a colonel during the Revolutionary War, and later he was a judge for the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania.

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