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The Best Picture Book Biographies
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The Best Picture Book Biographies

Learn and be inspired by the stories in these best selling picture book biographies

I Am Ruby Bridges

By: Ruby Bridges
Narrated by: Grace Capeless
Length: 28 minutes

Ruby Bridges tells her story as never before and shares the events of the momentous day in 1960 when Ruby became the first Black child to integrate the all-white William Franz Elementary as a six year old little girl -- a personal and intimate look through a child's lens at a landmark moment in our Civil Rights history.My work will be precious.I... Read more

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Playing at the Border

A Story of Yo-Yo Ma

By: Joanna Ho
Narrated by: Kevin Shen
Length: 13 minutes

The New York Times bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, Joanna Ho, delivers a poignant biography about the musician Yo-Yo Ma, immigration, and using music to build bridges.“Everyone can benefit from Ho’s message of music bringing calm and peace to the world.” —Booklist Joanna Ho’s lyrical writing tells an inspiring story of Yo-Yo... Read more

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Finding My Dance

By: Ria Thundercloud
Narrated by: Ria Thundercloud
Length: 7 minutes

In her debut picture book, adapted for audio, professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage.

At four years old, Ria Thundercloud was brought into the powwow circle, ready to dance in the special jingle dress her mother made for her. As she... Read more

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Shirley Chisholm Dared

The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

By: Alicia D. Williams
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 15 minutes

Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.

Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her... Read more

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Martin Rising: Requiem For a King

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Length: 1 hour 11 minutes

With imagination and power, the award-winning Pinkney duo celebrates MLK's nonviolent struggle for civil rights -- as he transforms America through the spirit of love.A Washington Post Best Book of the YearA Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the YearA New York Public Library Best Book of the YearA School Library Journal Best Book of the Year*... Read more

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Because Claudette

By: Tracey Baptiste
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 6 minutes

From NYT bestselling author Tracey Baptiste comes a singular picture book, adapted for audio, that is both a biography about Claudette Colvin, the teen whose activism launched the Montgomery bus boycott, and a celebration of collective action.

When fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin boarded a segregated bus on March 2, 1955, she had no idea she... Read more

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Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History

Vashti Harrison: Book #3

By: Vashti Harrison
Narrated by: Vashti Harrison, Cary Hite & J. D. Jackson
Length: 1 hour 49 minutes

Author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in this #1 New York Times bestseller.
An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and... Read more

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Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library (AUDIO)

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 46 minutes

Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk's life's passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and to bring to light the achievements of people of African descent throughout the ages. When Schomburg's... Read more

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Radiant Child

The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

By: Javaka Steptoe
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 19 minutes

Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games... Read more

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Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Narrated by: Billy Dee Williams
Length: 17 minutes

Told in the voice of a cool cat named Scat, this dramatic story tells how Ella got her sound on the way to a most remarkable and inspiring career. Read more

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Rosa

By: Nikki Giovanni
Narrated by: Nikki Giovanni
Length: 12 minutes

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama city bus and refused to give up her seat to a white man, an act that ignited a movement that changed modern history. Read more

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She Persisted: Dorothy Height

She Persisted

By: Kelly Starling Lyons & Chelsea Clinton
Narrated by: Marie-Françoise Theodore & Chelsea Clinton
Length: 41 minutes

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds--including Dorothy Height!

Growing up as a Black girl in the 1920s and 1930s, Dorothy Height was denied access to a local swimming pool as well as admission to Barnard... Read more

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Barack Obama

By: Nikki Grimes
Narrated by: Nikki Grimes
Length: 24 minutes

The #1 New York Times bestselling picture-book biography of President Barack Obama.

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but... Read more

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Coretta Scott

By: Ntozake Shange
Narrated by: Phylicia Rashad
Length: 5 minutes

This extraordinary union of poetic text by Ntozake Shange and monumental artwork by kadir Nelson captures the movement for civil rights in the United States and honors its most elegant inspiration, Coretta Scott Read more

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All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Carole Boston Weatherford
Length: 14 minutes

Multi award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford delivers a message of perseverance, dignity, and honor in this audiobook biography of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Whatever she did, wherever she was, Ketanji Brown Jackson rose to the top.

From the time their daughter was born, Ketanji Brown’s... Read more

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Call Me Miss Hamilton

One Woman's Case for Equality and Respect

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 19 minutes

Mary Hamilton grew up knowing right from wrong. She was proud to be Black, and when the chance came along to join the Civil Rights Movement and become a Freedom Rider, she was eager to fight for what she believed in. She was arrested again and again?and she did not back down when faced with insults or disrespect. In an Alabama court, a white... Read more

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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison: Book #1

By: Vashti Harrison
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

This beautifully illustrated board book edition of instant bestseller Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History showcases women who changed the world and is the perfect goodnight book to inspire big dreams.

Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little... Read more

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Voice of Freedom

Fannie Lou Hamer - Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 33 minutes

Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that, despite President Johnson's interference, aired on national TV... Read more

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Jesse Owens

Fastest Man Alive

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 15 minutes

Jesse Owens' mother frequently told him, "Put your best foot forward." So Jesse followed her advice, worked hard, and made his dreams come true as one of the greatest Olympic champions of all time. But it wasn't easy, as Jesse had to overcome many obstacles. Even though World War II hadn't started yet, Adolf Hitler controlled Germany during the... Read more

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Becoming Billie Holiday

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Narrated by: Channie Waites
Length: 1 hour 37 minutes

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 7, 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter. She named her Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time.
Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she... Read more

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