As kids begin to understand the larger world around them, there’s nothing more expansive than learning about the lives of others. So it’s no wonder biographies are a hit with curious young readers. Learning about amazing people who shaped the world through bravery and dedication isn’t just a way to inspire your child’s own dreams—it’s a path to building stronger empathy and relationships.
That’s why we’ve created this list of the best biographies for kids of all ages and reading levels, from preschool to middle school. Featuring stories of dreamers and doers from all walks of life, these books will have your reader thinking big about their boundless potential!
Mahatma Gandhi: My First Mahatma Gandhi (Little People, Big Dreams)
This picture book is a gentle introduction for babies and toddlers to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. The charmingly illustrated tale tells the story of young Mohandas and his upbringing in India under British rule. All the while, Mohandas dreamed of a world where all living beings were treated with kindness—and dared to chase it into reality. Your toddler or preschool reader will light up as they learn from Gandhi about nonviolence, peace, and unwavering kindness.
David Bowie (Little People, Big Dreams)
This one’s for all the diaper-dancers and future rockstars. Even the youngest baby learners will be inspired by the one-of-a-kind Starman and his message of fearless individuality. Young David Jones may have looked like an ordinary boy on the outside, but on the inside, he was full of dreams, music, and creativity. Show your child that gigantic dreams are as close as the karaoke microphone in this motivational depiction of David Bowie’s story. The board book format is sturdy enough for little readers to thumb through on their own—and with the bold, bright illustrations, they’ll want to!
If your growing reader is a naturalist-in-training, this wonderfully engaging board book is just what the biologist ordered. Designed for children ages 3 to 5, this board book is a lighthearted introduction to Jane Goodall’s fascinating chimpanzee research. Your reader will be so busy searching for hidden pictures in the illustrations that they won’t realize they’re learning facts well beyond their science curriculum. Vocabulary words and questions on every page also help encourage discussion and develop more advanced communication skills.
Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist
Got an up-and-coming paleontologist in the family? Then this is the biography you’re looking for! Mary Anning was a true scientific pioneer. Every young dino fan will be enraptured by the story of how her earth-shaking scientific career began by hunting for fossils in her own backyard. This fully illustrated picture book invites 4- to 9-year-olds to turn over pages and stones as they advance their exploratory skills .
Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg? (Who Is/Was)
The Who Was… books are among the best biographies for kids, presenting accurate history in an easy-to-read style. Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg? introduces kids to one of the renowned legal minds of our time while making her feel accessible, relatable, and wholeheartedly human. This story of Ginsburg’s advocacy for gender equality and women’s rights will empower readers from ages 8 to 11 to stand up for what they believe in as they learn to read independently and think critically.
Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels
If your 10- to 13-year-old reader loves adventure-packed stories, this book is a must-have. They might’ve heard about Amelia Earhart in school, but they’ll marvel at the lesser-known stories of Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, stuntwoman Helen Gibson, and oceanographer Sylvia Earle in this riveting collection. Each profile is short and readable, yet brimming with value and heart. Try reading one profile with your child before bed each night and watch as they gravitate toward certain adventurers, navigate moral complexities, and relate the stories to their own lives.
Help Your Child Dream Big With Biographies From Literati Book Clubs
Once your kids start learning about the real lives of influential people like the ones above, they’ll realize how endless their own potential really is. You can make sure your reader is always stocked up with the best biographies for kids—along with all the other genres they love—by becoming a Literati Kids Book Club member.
We’ll send your child the best-in-class literature suited perfectly to their reading level and interests. The result? A passion for reading, a thirst for learning, and ideas that flow as freely as David Bowie’s melodies. To get started, complete our quick personalization quiz and open the gates to your young reader’s literary adventure today.