Children's Booklist

Theosophical University Press Online Edition



General Nonfiction and Biography

Alexander, Sally Hobart, Mom Can't See Me (5-up). From the point of view of her 9-year old daughter, the author tells her own story of living fully despite blindness; illustrated with photographs.

Aliki, Mummies Made in Egypt (5-12). Discusses ancient Egyptian beliefs on death, explaining how mummies and tombs were prepared.

Ancona, George, Helping Out (3-7). Photographs of children who are enjoying helping adults with many different types of work.

Atwood, Ann, and Erica Anderson, For All That Lives (7-up). Photographs illustrate brief quotations from Albert Schweitzer on reverence for, and the oneness of, all life.

Beard, Daniel Carter, The American Boys Handy Book (7-15). Reprint of 1890 manual covering making kites, aquariums, knots, boats, puppets, camping, fishing, etc., by the founder of Boys Scouts of America. Also How to Amuse Yourself and Others: The American Girls Handy Book by Adelia and Lina Beard (7-14).

Dolan, Edward F., Jr., Animal Rights (11-15). Discusses the moral issues concerning mankind's uses of and relations with animals.

Driscoll, Laura, The Bravest Cat! The True Story of Scarlett (3-6). Retells the true story of a stray cat who rescues her kittens from a burning building, is injured, and finally finds a happy home; beginning reader.

Edmunds, I. G., Second-sight: People Who Read the Future (11-up). Intelligent discussion of prophecy in the West, covering Nostradamus, Jean Dixon, and Edgar Cayce in some depth.

Freedman, Russell, Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade against Child Labor (8-up). About one photographer's fight in the early 20th century to end child labor, including many of his evocative photos of the children themselves.

Gaes, Jason, My Book for Kids with Cansur (4-10). In this "Child's Autobiography of Hope," an 8 year-old shares his experiences with cancer in order to help other children; illustrated by his brothers.

Gardner, Martin, Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight (10-up). Paradoxes from logic, probability, numbers, geometry, time, and statistics intrigue and challenge reasoning power and intuition. Also Aha! Insight (10-up).

Gold, Phyllis, Please Don't Say Hello (8-12). A family moving to a new neighborhood serves as a vehicle for this intelligent explanation of autism; by the mother of an autistic child.

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan, The Painter's Eye: Learning to Look at Contemporary American Art (12-up). Analysis by the authors and quotations from artists help readers gain an appreciation for the elements and principles of painting in contemporary art. Also The Sculptor's Eye (12-up).

Griffin, John Howard, Black Like Me (14-up). A white man, having medically darkened his skin, travels through the 1950s South as a black man.

—— A Time to Be Human (12-15). A thoughtful examination of racism written for young people.

Heide, Florence Parry, and Judith Heide Gilliland, The House of Wisdom (5-9). Picture book about the famous library in 9th-century Baghdad, focusing on the boy who became the greatest translator of Aristotle's works into Arabic.

Hendrickson, Karen, Baby and I Can Play (3-12). Picture book acquaints older siblings with enjoyable activities they can initiate with an infant brother or sister, including positive things they can do when they resent the baby.

Heyerdahl, Thor, Kon-Tiki (10-up). True adventure of sailing across the Pacific in a replica of an Incan raft to prove the ancients could have done so; available in youth and adult versions.

Kettelkamp, Larry, Dreams (10-14). Gives ancient and modern ideas on dreams, their significance, and their role in human life; author of many interesting nonfiction books for young readers.

Krementz, Jill, How It Feels When a Parent Dies (7-up). Several young people share their experiences concerning the loss of a parent in the hope that it may help others feel less alone and unique.

Langone, John, Death is a Noun (14-up). Even-handed, journalistic discussion of death and related topics such as euthanasia, abortion, murder, suicide, and immortality; author of several good nonfiction books for young people.

Lansing, Alfred, The Endurance (12-up). Account of the disastrous voyage of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, and the incredible way in which no men were lost despite losing their ship and living for long periods on ice flows; a tribute to the human spirit.

Lapierre, Dominique, City of Joy (15-up). Powerful, moving account of the inhabitants of a Calcutta slum, revealing the tragedy and heroism of their everyday life.

Lester, Jules, To Be a Slave (12-up). Stories of US slavery, most told in the words of former slaves. This powerful indictment gives insight into African-American history and the horrors of slavery of any kind.

Maruld, Toshi, Hiroshima no Pika (9-up). A family's experience when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima is movingly told in this picture book in the interest of peace. A powerful book, perhaps for younger children best read with parents.

McBrier, Page, Beatrice's Goat (5-10). A family in Uganda receives a goat from Heifer Project International, which changes their lives; fact based.

Moody, Raymond A., Life After Life (15-up). Reports on people's near-death experiences and how common they are.

Peterson, Jeanne Whitehouse, I Have a Sister — My Sister Is Deaf (4-8). Explains simply what it's like to have a deaf sibling.

Pirsig, Robert M., The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance (15-up). Father's thoughts while on a cross-country trip with his son in search of truth and self-discovery.

Raynor, Dorka, Grandparents around the World (all ages). Full-page photos of grandparents and children from 25 countries.

Reuter, Margaret, My Mother Is Blind (5-10). A young boy describes how everyone in his family came to terms with his mother becoming blind; illustrated with photographs.

Richter, Elizabeth, Losing Someone You Love: When a Brother or Sister Dies (10-up). Sixteen young people who have lost a sibling share their feelings and difficulties in the hope of helping others in a similar situation.

Scholes, Katherine, Peace Begins with You (4-9). Simple presentation of what peace means and how we can each contribute to it.

Thoreau, Henry David, Walden, selec. by Steve Lowe (5-10). Picture book with short selections from Thoreau's writings, accompanied by full-page linoleum-cut pictures, describe his life in the woods.

Tompkins, Peter, The Secret Life of Plants (13-up). Reports on research concerning consciousness in plants.

—— Secrets of the Great Pyramid (15-up). History and significances of this Egyptian structure.

Wolf, Bernard, Homeless (4-10). Picture book of photos showing half a year in the life of an 8-year-old boy and his family in rent-free housing in New York City.


Biography and Autobiography

(Includes fictionalized autobiography)

Al-Windawi, Thura, Thura's Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq (12-up). Memoir by a 19-year-old Iraqi girl of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and its effects on the life of her family and friends.

Balgassi, Haemi, Peacebound Trains (5-9). Picture book of a family's separation and escape from Seoul during the Korean War; based on a true story.

Barasch, Lynne, Radio Rescue (6-11). Picture book about a boy's enthusiasm for being an amateur radio operator in the 1920s allows him to contact people around the world, and to help in emergencies; based on a true story.

Bartholomew, Carol, My Heart Has 17 Rooms (13-up). Autobiography of an American woman who helped at a small Indian hospital in the late 1950s.

Becerra de Jenkins, Lyll, The Honorable Prison (12-15). A Latin American family held as political prisoners illustrates the vital importance of holding to individual values in attempting to overcome oppression, while not overlooking its cost; derived from the author's experience.

Boone, J. Allen, Kinship with All Life (10-up). Real-life experiences showing the oneness of all life and how animals communicate with each other and with people who understand them. Also Adventures in Kinship with All Life (10-up).

Carrighar, Sally, Moonlight at Midday (15-up). Natualist visiting Northern Alaska for a year stays for ten because of her interest in and love for the people, native and settlers. Strong readers will find much of interest concerning the Alaskan people, land, and wildlife.

Ching, Lucy, One of the Lucky Ones (11-up). Inspiring story of the determined struggle and triumph of a Chinese girl over blindness, superstition, and prejudice.

Choi, Sook Nyul, Year of Impossible Goodbyes (12-up). Harrowing, exciting story of a family in occupied Korea which survives the Japanese occupation and flees to the South after WWII; based on the author's experiences. First of a series.

Churchill, Winston, Heroes of History (12-up). Sketches of notable historical figures compiled from Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples.

Darwin, Charles, Voyage of the Beagle, abridged by Millicent E. Selsam (12-up). Darwin's account of his formative journey around South America; edited for young people.

Durrell, Gerald, My Family and Other Animals (10-up). Often hilarious stories from the author's childhood in Corfu, focusing on the natural habitat and his eccentric family and friends; very well written.

—— Three Tickets to Adventure (10-up). One of the author's many books about expeditions to collect animals for zoos, full of humor and love of nature; others include The New Noah, The Whispering Land, The Drunken Forest, etc.

Earnshaw, Ruth, and Katherine S. Kinderman, In the Eye of the Typhoon (15-up). Memoir of an American married to a Chinese professor living in China from the late 1930s through the Japanese occupation and Cultural Revolution, when her husband was blacklisted.

Epstein, Beryul and Samuel, Who Says You Can't? (12-up). Biographies of people in the 1960s who achieved public good through effort and vision.

Farre, Rowena, Seal Morning (11-up). Memoir of the author's life from 10 to 17 with her aunt and many wild pets in an isolated, North Scotland cottage. Remarkable descriptions of this silent, remote wilderness highlight her unusual adventures — most humorous, a few sad.

Frank, Anne, The Diary of a Young Girl (11-up). Journal of a Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in a secret Dutch apartment in WWII.

Gandhi, M. K., My Experiments With Truth (14-up). Autobiography of the spiritual and personal struggles of India's great pacifist and patriot.

Gilbreth, Frank, Jr., Cheaper by the Dozen (10-up). Efficiency experts raise 12 children in this amusing reminiscence. Continued in With Bells on Their Toes (11-up) and Time out for Happiness (12-up).

Hartling, Peter, Crutches (12-15). Exciting tale of a 12-year-old Austrian boy separated from his mother after WWII and his relationship with a one-legged soldier; they support each other through hunger and real danger on the long journey to find the boy's mother; based on the author's life.

Hautzig, Esther, The Endless Steppe (12-up). Based on the author's experience as a Jewish girl deported from Poland to Siberia during WWII, reflecting the optimism and resilience of the human spirit.

Henry, Madeleine, Little Madeleine (13-up). Interesting recollections of a girl growing up with her seamstress mother in 1920s France; first of a series.

Herriot, James, All Creatures Great and Small (13-up). Memoirs of a vet in Northern England, full of humor and love of animals; first of a series.

— — — James Herriot's Treasury for Children (4-12). A one-volume collection of Herriot's picture books drawn from his career.

Hocken, Sheila, Emma and I (12-up). A young Englishwoman tells of her life as a blind person, and the difference her beloved seeing-eye dog made.

Hoose, Philip, It's Our World, Too! Stories of Young People Who Are Making a Difference (9-up). Profiles of many young activists who have acted on what they believe.

Keller, Helen, The Story of My Life (13-up). Autobiography shows forth the spirit of right living and thinking even under the worst adversities, and the wonderful relationship between Helen and her teacher.

Kennedy, John F., Profiles in Courage (11-up). Americans who stood for principle and acted on their convictions, whatever the consequences.

Kherdian, David, The Road from Home (12-up). A son tells of his mother's experiences as the only member of her family to survive the Armenian massacres of WWI.

Koehn, Ilse, Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany (13-up). Memoir of a Nazi youth separated from her father and his family because he was half Jewish; an inside look at growing up in Nazi Germany and a powerful indictment of war.

Konigsburg, E. L., A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver (11-15). Unusual and effective biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Korner, Wolfgang, The Green Frontier (12-up). Fictionalized autobiography of an East German teenager whose parents crossed into West Berlin nine years before the Wall was built, telling of the confusion, resentment, and adaptability of youthful political refugees.

Lorenz, Konrad Z., King Solomon's Ring (12-up). Informative and amusing anecdotes about animals by one of the founders of modern ethology.

McNeer, May, and Lynd Ward, Armed with Courage (8-12). Biographies of Florence Nightingale, M. K. Gandhi, George Washington Carver, Father Damien, Jane Addams, Wilfred Greenfell, and Albert Schweitzer.

Mebane, Mary E., Mary: An Autobiography (15-up). Through its details, this slow-moving autobiography allows readers to relive the experiences of an African-American girl growing up in rural North Carolina in the 1930s and '40s, who, with the encouragement of her aunt and father, overcomes horrendous obstacles to get a superior education.

Meigs, Cornelia, Invincible Louisa (10-14). Award-winning biography of Louisa May Alcott and her family.

Meyer, Edith Patterson, In Search of Peace: The Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 1901-1975 (12-up). Background on many individuals and organizations recognized for contributing to world peace.

Mora, Pat, Tomas and the Library Lady (4-9). A child of migrant farm workers learns the wonder of books; based on experience of Tomas Rivera, a chancellor of the University of California.

Mowat, Farley, Owls in the Family (9-12). Humorous story of a boy's love of nature — especially animals — while growing up in Canada.

Orgel, Doris, The Devil in Vienna (12-up). The close friendship of the daughter of a Nazi storm trooper and a Jew; based on the author's experiences.

Reiss, Johanna, The Upstairs Room (11-up). Story of two Jewish sisters hidden by a farm family in Holland, told by the younger, with fine characterizations and realistic reactions that come from life-experience. Her family's post-war experiences are told in The Journey Back (11-up).

Sis, Peter, Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei (10-14). Picture book centering on Galileo's life, discoveries, and persecution by the Church.

—— Tibet through the Red Box, (10-up). Picture book centering on the author's father's diary of his adventures in Tibet right before the Chinese invaded.

Stowe, Leland, Crusoe of Lonesome Lake (13-up). A farmer and his family live isolated in the Canadian wilderness, building almost everything from scratch; fascinating, adventurous story of remarkable modern pioneers.

Uchida, Yoshiko, Journey Home (8-12). Based on the author's experiences, a Japanese-American girl and her family return from internment camp to begin from scratch, meeting prejudice, hard times, and happiness. The story is begun with the family's internment in Journey to Topaz (8-12).

Watkins, Yoko Kawashima, So Far from the Bamboo Grove (11-up). Gripping, exceptional story of the hardships involved in a Japanese family's escape from Korea and their struggles in Japan after WWII; based on the author's life. Continued in My Brother, My Sister, and I (11-up).

Weil, Lisl, Wolferl: The First Six Years in the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (4-8). Picture book of Mozart's childhood at home and at the courts of Austria.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls, The Little House in the Big Woods (5-10). First of the autobiographical stories about a pioneer family; full of worthwhile human values. Later books in the series are written for progressively older children.

Yates, Elizabeth, Amos Fortune, Free Man (9-12). African slave in New England learns to read, eventually buys his freedom and later his wife's, and becomes a respected and successful tanner.


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