Sep 092018
Esther Cleveland

Esther Cleveland

Esther Cleveland (born White House, Washington, DC,1893; died New Hampshire, June 25, 1980) was the daughter of President Grover Cleveland and First Lady Frances Cleveland. She was the first and only child to be born in the White House.

Aileen Fisher (born Iron River, Michigan, 1906; died Boulder, Colorado, December 2, 2002) was a children’s author. Known for both her poetry and prose, Ms. Fisher also wrote plays and biographies. Children could learn more about her at: Aileen Fisher.

Leo Tolstoy (born south of Moscow, Russia, 1828; died Astapovo, Russia, November 20, 1910) was a novelist and a philosopher. He was concerned about the disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Two of his most famous novels are War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Children could visit Project Gutenberg to read many of his books at Project Gutenberg.

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Sep 102018

Carter Braxton

Carter Braxton (born Newington, Virginia, 1736; died Richmond, Virginia, October 10, 1797) signed the Declaration of Independence. Representing Virginia, he helped supply the American army. He lost his fortune due to the war and bad business ideas. He might have had to go to debtor’s prison, but he died of a stroke. Idea: Braxton actually staved off a possible battle in Virginia. Children could find out more about his abilities to make peace.

Betty Levin (born New York, New York, 1927) writes books for children. Her books include Brother Moose and Shoddy Cove.

Roger Maris (born Hibbing, Minnesota, 1934; died Houston, Texas, December 14, 1985) was a baseball player. In 1961 he broke Babe Ruth’s 1927 record of most homeruns hit in a season.

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Sep 112018

William Sydney Porter (born Greensboro, North Carolina, 1862; died New York, New York, June 5, 1910) wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry. He is most known for his short stories, including “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Ransom of Red Chief.” Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.

Lois Ruby (born San Francisco, California, 1942) writes books for children and young adults. Her works include Steal Away Home and The Secret of Laurel Oaks. Children can visit her website at: Lois Ruby.

Alfred Slote (born Brooklyn, New York, 1926) has written over 30 books for children. His works include Finding Buck McHenry and My Robot Buddy. Children can visit his website at: Alfred Slote.

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Sep 122018

Richard Jordan Gatling (born Hertford County, North Carolina, 1818; died New York, New York, February 26, 1903) was an inventor. He invented mainly items to improve agriculture. However, he is famous for the Gatling gun, the first machine gun.

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens (born James Cleveland Owens in Oakville, Alabama, 1913; died Tucson, Arizona, March 31, 1980) was an athlete. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. He established eleven world records in track and field. Children could read Jesse Owns: Gold Medal Hero by Jim Gigliotti.

Valerie Tripp (born Mt. Kisco, New York, 1951) is the author of 31 books of the American Girl Series. Children can visit her website at: Valerie Tripp.

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Sep 132018

Roald Dahl (born Llandaff, South Wales, Great Britain, 1916; died Oxford, England, November 23, 1990) wrote books for both children and adults. He wrote among other works James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Children can visit a website devoted to him at: Roald Dahl.

Milton S. Hershey (born Derry Township, Pennsylvania, 1857; died Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 13, 1945) developed the Hershey Bar. His career began in Chicago and New York where he made and sold caramels. In 1905 he concocted the idea of the Hershey Bar and returned to Pennsylvania. There he built his chocolate factory. Children could read Chocolate by Hershey: A Story about Milton S. Hershey by Betty Burford.

Carol Kendall (born Bucyrus, Ohio, 1917; died Lawrence, Kansas, July 28, 2012) was a children’s author. One of her most famous books is The Gammage Cup, a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She also wrote The Whisper of Glocken. Children can learn more at: Carol Kendall.

Else Holmelund Minarik (born Denmark, 1920; died Sunset Beach, North Carolina, July 12, 2012) wrote the Little Bear series (illustrated by Maurice Sendak) and other books. Children can learn more at: Else Holmelund Minarik.

Walter Reed (born Gloucester County, Virginia, 1851; died Washington, DC, November 22, 1902) was an army physician. He conducted important research regarding yellow fever.

Arnold Schoenberg (born Vienna, Austria, 1874; died Brentwood, California, July 13, 1951) was a composer. He wrote atonal music. Eventually he developed a twelve tone system. Idea: Students could listen to some recordings of his music. Can they tell the difference between his music and music of other composers?

Mildred D. Taylor (born Jackson, Mississippi, 1943) is a children’s author. She wrote among other works Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which received the 1977 Newbery Medal. She also received numerous Coretta Scott King Awards: in 1982 for Let the Circle Be Unbroken, in 1988 for The Friendship, and in 2002 for The Land. She also earned Jane Addams Book Awards: in 1976 for Song of the Trees, in 1977 for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, in 1982 for Let the Circle Be Unbroken, and in 1996 for The Well: David’s Story. In 2002 her book The Land received the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

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Sep 142018

William H. Armstrong (born Lexington, Virginia, 1911; died Kent, Connecticut, April 11, 1999) was a children’s author. He wrote, among other works, Sounder, which received the 1970 Newbery Medal. Children could learn more about him at: William H. Armstrong.

Diane Goode (born Brooklyn, New York, 1949) has written and/or illustrated at least 57  books for children. She received a 1983 Caldecott Honor Award for her illustrations in When I Was Young in the Mountains. Children could visit her website at: Diane Goode.

Frederick Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt (born Berlin, Germany, 1769; died Berlin, Germany, May 6, 1859) was a geographer and scientist. Idea: Children could learn how Humboldt used isothermal lines on his maps.

Edith Thacher Hurd (born Kansas City, Missouri, 1910; died Walnut Creek, California, January 25, 1997) wrote at least 75 books for children. She collaborated with her husband, illustrator Clement Hurd, on about 50 of those books. Her works include Under the Lemon Tree and I Dance in My Red Pajamas. Children could learn more at: Edith Thacher Hurd.

John Steptoe (born Brooklyn, New York, 1950; died New York, New York, August 28, 1989) was a picture book author and illustrator. He wrote among other works Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, which received a 1988 Caldecott Honor Award and a Coretta Scott King Medal. Steptoe received another Coretta Scott King Medal in 1982 for Mother Crocodile. He also earned another Caldecott Honor Award in 1985 for Story of Jumping Mouse – A Native American Legend. Children could learn more at: John Steptoe.

James Wilson (born Carskerdo, Scotland, 1742; died Edonton, North Carolina, August 21 or August 28, 1798) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Pennsylvania. A lawyer, he also signed the Constitution. He was one of the first Supreme Court Justices. Unfortunately, he made some poor business decisions and died in poverty.

Elizabeth Winthrop (born Washington, DC, 1948) has written more than 60 books. Her audience includes both children and adults. One of her books is The Castle in the Attic. Children could visit her website at: Elizabeth Winthrop.

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Sep 152018

Mabel Bragg (born Milford, Massachusetts, 1870; died April 25, 1945) wrote children’s books. Some experts have attributed her to be the author of The Little Engine That Could. However, others feel that Arnold Munk, a publisher using the pseudonym Watty Piper, wrote the book. Still others believe the story to be a version found in folk literature.

Agatha Christie (born Torquay, England, 1890; died Wallingford, England, January 12, 1976) was a writer, best known for her mysteries. Older children can read two of her books at: Project Gutenberg.

James Fenimore Cooper (born Burlington, New Jersey, 1789; died Cooperstown, New York, September 14, 1851) was a writer and a historian. Two of his most famous works are The Last of the Mohicans and The Pathfinder. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: James Fenimore Cooper.

Tomie dePaola (born Meriden, Connecticut, 1934) has written and/or illustrated over 250 books for children. He received a 1976 Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, a 2002 Newbery Honor Award for 26 Fairmount Avenue, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work. Children could visit his website at: Tomie DePaola.

Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey (born Hamilton, Ohio, 1914; died Deer Isle, Maine, June 30, 2003) was a children’s author and illustrator. He earned two Caldecott Medals: one in 1942 for Make Way for Ducklings and one in 1958 for Time of Wonder. He also received three Caldecott Honor Awards: one in 1949 for Blueberries for Sal, in 1953 for One Morning in Maine, and one in 1954 for JohnnyCake, Ho! His book Make Way for Ducklings is now the official state children’s book for Massachusetts. Children can learn more at: Robert McCloskey.

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (born Cincinnati, Ohio, 1857; died Washington. D. C., March 8, 1930) was the twenty-seventh president (1909-1913) of the United States. He weighed over three hundred pounds. In 1900 he was in charge of the Philippines. In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt made Taft Secretary of War. He was president of the country during a difficult period. After he concluded his term as president, he became a Supreme Court Justice in 1921. Children could visit a website at: William Howard Taft. Idea: Taft was the only president who also served on the Supreme Court. Children could locate more presidential facts and create a trivia game.

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Sep 162018
Curious George Flies a Kite

Curious George Flies a Kite

H. A. Rey (born Hans Augustus Reyersbach, Hamburg, Germany, 1898; died Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 26, 1977) was a children’s author and illustrator. He and his wife Margaret Rey are best known for their books featuring Curious George. Children can learn more about his amazing life by reading The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey by Louise Borden. Children can learn more at: H. A. Rey.

Joanne Ryder (born Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, 1946) writes books for children. Her works include My Father’s Hands and Wild Birds. She is married to Laurence Yep.

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Sep 172018

Elizabth Enright (born Oak Park, Illinois, 1909; died Wainscott, New York, June 8, 1968) wrote and illustrated works for both children and adults. She received the Newbery Medal in 1939 for Thimble Summer and a 1958 Newbery Honor Award for Gone-Away Lake. Children could learn more at: Elizabeth Enright.

Rube Foster (born Andrew Foster in Calvert, Texas, 1879; died Kankakee, Illinois, December 9, 1930) was “The Father of Negro Baseball.” He was a pitcher and manager of the Chicago Lelands and the Chicago American Giants before he organized the Negro National League. He was the League’s president from its inception until his death.

Gail Carson Levine (born New York, New York, 1947) is a children’s author. Her Ella Enchanted was a 1998 Newbery Honor book. She also wrote A Tale of Two Castles. Children could visit her website at: Gail Carson Levine.

John Rutledge (born Charleston, South Carolina, 1739; died Charleston, South Carolina, July 18, 1800) represented South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. He started his law career at age eleven, and he eventually served in South Carolina’s Supreme Court.

David H. Souter (born Melrose, Massachusetts, 1939) is a retired associate justice of the Supreme Court.

James Smith (born Ulster, Ireland, 1719; died July 11, 1806) signed the Declaration of Independence. Representing Pennsylvania at the Second Continental Congress, he was a lawyer and surveyor.

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (born Magdeburg, Prussia, 1730; died Remsen, New York, November 28, 1794) aided the American army during the Revolutionary War. General George Washington made him a major general. He was in charge of the army’s training. He taught them how to march and to use muskets and bayonets.

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Sep 182018

Jean Bernard Leon Foucault (born Paris, France, 1819; died Paris, France, February 11, 1868) was a scientist. He measured the speed of light through different materials. His experiments with pendulums proved that the earth rotated on its axis. Children could read an excellent biography, Come See the World Turn, written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Raul Allen.


George Read

George Read (born Cecil County, Maryland, 1733; died New Castle, Delaware, September 21, 1798) signed the Declaration of Independence. Representing Delaware, he also signed the Constitution. As governor of Delaware, he was instrumental in making sure Delaware was the first state to approve the Constitution. After the Revolutionary War, he was a United States senator and then the chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.

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