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The Top 10 Books For Teenagers – Biographies

Books For Teenagers:

1. Drawing From Memory

Writer: Allen Say

The story is about Allen Say and about his journey towards becoming the well known artist he is today. His artistic leanings were not understood by his father. This is a stunning graphic novel in which the author chronicles his journey during the World War II as an artist when he worked as an apprentice under a premier cartoonist of Japan, Noro Shinpei.

This is a part graphic-novel memoir, part picture book autography and part ruminative scrapbook. In this autobiography the author explores his time as an artist who is quite young. In this autography which is a part picture book, the writer explores his time as an artist who is quite young. The book helps inspiring the artist within any person.

2. Abraham Lincoln & Frederic Douglass: A Story About American Friendship

Writer: Russell Freedman

The photo-biography is about an American Friendship. During the time, the Civil War when raged, both Lincoln and Douglas forged a friendship. The biography tells about the extremely different lives lived by both these people in vivid detail. An account that is well researched about the parallel lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederic Douglass, their intersection during a critical moment in the history of the United States is presented in the biography. Both were great believers of the importance of literacy, were self-taught, were born poor and used their own effort and hard work to reach prominence and positions of power. The Civil War ends with the exchange of their meetings and ideas.

Review: The biography about both men is carefully researched and clear sighted to keep the readers hooked. The book is written with fine sense, intelligence and clarity. It is a readable and a wonderful biography indeed.

3. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story Of The Puppeteer Of Macy’s Parade

Writer: Melissa Sweet


The story revolves around a boy who had great love for puppets. He wanted to have Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s mighty floating spectacle engineered by him after he grew up. This spectacle takes off with a collage technique that is truly made innovative by the author.


Readers are sure to find a lot of love in this biography. This book is highly recommended as a non-fiction text, a picture book with a lot of information on American culture. Readers will love the illustrations. The text size and fonts are used in a variety which keeps the reader wanting for more.

4. The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood In China

Writer: Ed Young and Libby Koponen


This biography is structured around the house of Young in Shanghai which is torn by war,. The biography portrays an artist who is growing up as a child and gradually gets himself into the understanding of an adult with the experiences of a child.All was not as it seemed during his childhood. The roof becomes a roller rink, the horse a rocking chair, the swimming pool a place to ride scooters etc. The house built by the father is transformed to a place to be safe, eat bamboo shoots and play hide-and-seek.

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This book has some of the most poignant, powerful and exquisite multimedia illustrations to keep any reader hooked. The book is filled with a lot of memories to treasure.

5. Annie Sullivan And The Trials Of Helen Keller

Writer: Joseph Lambert

The biography is about two women Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller who are remarkable indeed. Struggles of the childhood of these women have been explored well in this graphic novel. Also discussed are the breakthroughs experienced by both these women together.

The author has created a set of visual cues for depicting the popularity of Helen Keller perceived by people of the world as a deaf and blind person. As an illustrator and artist, the author has engaged his finest skills within the framework necessary to navigate any ready very easily. He does not sacrifice any true emotional power in the book and goes out of his way in an effort to get romanticism stripped. The reader surely finds every page a visual feast.

6.Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Writer: Claire A. Nivola


As a young girl Sylvia Earle loses her heart to the ocean and in her backyard discovers the Gulf of Mexico. She dives deeper as an adult. She dedicates her life to learning, whether is about swimming along with the whales, submersible designing or taking walks in the deep waters.

The biography is connected to the inquisitive childhood Sylvia Earle before being a well known marine scientist. Lyrical text and delicate artwork is employed by the author Nivola that also incorporates own descriptions of the ocean in poetic form. The book has stunning pictures on the wonders under water.

7.I. M. Pei: Architect Of Time, Place, And Purpose

Writer: Jill Rubalcaba

The work and life of the architect I.M.Pei is introduced in the book. He was born in China and in 1935 went to United States to study architecture. He did not come back to his homeland but artistic and cultural values which he had absorbed during his childhood are expressed in his later work.

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The biography introduces the reader to the work and life of Pei. Just like the buildings which are the subjects of this book, the biography also features an inviting, functional and spacious design. The life of Pei has been described quite handsomely in this book.

8.Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

Writer: Karen Blumenthal


The biography is about an insight provided by Karen Blumenthal into the great gifts and faults of Steve Jobs and how a combination of this helped in producing a unique take on technology and how people interact with it. The reader is provided a lot of business and technical information with detracting the details of the book.

This book is extremely inviting. Source material is smartly chosen, interviews are well selected and the style used by the author Blumenthal is easy going which helps in providing a full portrait of the tech guru. The story is fascinating, well paced and given an inviting hook.

9.Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!

Writer: Jonah Winter


The biography captures Picasso’s disparate emotions about himself and his art. The biography proves to be an inspiration to almost anyone who has felt that he or she has felt judged. Picasso never listened to people and kept on working the way he wanted to till he created something so different and new that the people did not know what to say then. He shakes up the world of art like no one ever had done before.

The writer keeps the reader fascinated by making Picasso the superhero. An offbeat and innovative approach is used with glimpses of dedication, enthusiasm and energy provided that ruled the world of artists. The book is a boon for classroom teachers, art teachers and librarians.

10.It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Writer: Don Tate


The story is about Traylor and how he has a lifetime experience as a slave and becomes the master of the outsider art when at the age of eighty four he began painting. His singular vision is recreated with energetic artwork and rhythmic text.

The introduction to Bill Traylor the artist is completely astonishing in not only the biographical facts but also the way they have been depicted beautifully in the illustrations. Style used in the biography is dynamic and bold with a lot of acrylic paintings that help in bringing life to the pages of the book.

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