12 Inspiring Biographies for Teens

We enjoy recommending a top-notch memoir or biography to the young adult readers we are familiar with. There isn’t a better approach to enable children to relate to the history and see life from another person’s perspective. Here are our top picks for recent teen memoirs and biographies.

  1. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

Heiligman details the extraordinary and bizarre lives of the Van Gogh brothers, their interactions with one another, and their creative output.

  1. Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original Girl Reporter by Deborah Noyes

Nellie Bly, well-known for her breakthrough work documenting the abuse of asylum patients, defied the stereotypes of female reporters and became a trailblazing columist.

  1. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle

In a poem, Engle describes the stress of juggling two worlds, Cuba and LA.

  1. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Lowery talks about her experience participating in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march as the youngest marcher.

  1. Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance by Simone Biles

Simone Biles, an Olympic gold champion gymnast, describes her path from foster care to success.

  1. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Sandra Uwiringiyimana fled a refugee camp in the Congo and went to America after seeing her mother and younger sister killed. Through action and creativity, she overcame and recovered.

  1. Becoming Kareem: Growing up on and off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Abdul-Jabbar discusses how he overcomes obstacles and challenges to establish himself as a leader.

  1. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

The story of Knud Pedersen and his friends is chronicled in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. Their attempts to destroy Hitler led to the Danish resistance.

  1. Lion: A Long Way Home Young Readers’ Edition by Saroo Brierley

Brierley tells the tale of how he spent years questioning his existence, looking for his home, and ultimately finding it after being abandoned on a train at the age of five, becoming homeless, and then being placed in an orphanage.

  1. The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard Young Readers’ Edition by Tim Howard

Tim Howard, who was just diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, describes his inspiring upbringing, lengthy soccer career, and unexpected success.

  1. Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi

Saedi recalls her childhood in America as an undocumented Iranian.

  1. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater

A terrible crime forever alters the lives of two teenagers from very different areas and brings them together.

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