13 Best Memoirs for Kids and Teens
What is a memoir or autobiography you’d recommend for kids and teens? To help you identify the best memoirs or autobiographies for kids and teens, we asked avid readers and child development professionals this question for their best recommendations. From Michelangelo
by Romain Rolland to Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson, there are several memoirs and autobiographies that are recommended as good reads for kids and teens for one reason or another.Here are 13 memoirs and autobiographies these leaders recommend for kids and teens:
- Michelangelo by Romain Rolland
- Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson by Lesa Cline-Ransome
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly
- The Boy Who Had to Live With a Wolf by John B. Macdonald
- The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub
- I Am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
- Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder by Sean Mortimer and Tony Hawk
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Michelangelo by Romain Rolland
Michelangelo had the power to influence an era. Before him, the artistic sky of Florence was dull and lifeless, and his presence blew away the clouds that hung over it like a hurricane. After him, Michelangelo’s style influenced artists for almost three centuries. This biography is mainly composed of the first part, “Battle,” the second part, “Abandonment,” and the epilogue. The author highly praises Michelangelo’s artistic achievements and analyzes his inner world to present a simple and otherworldly Michelangelo with unparalleled creative talent and creativity in front of readers.
Abby Ha, WeLLPCB
Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson by Lesa Cline-Ransome
A book that can truthfully inspire and give faith in oneself. It tells the story of a truly amazing and talented woman who, through hard work and determination, achieved great success. But it’s not only about the story. The book itself is published with such beautiful graphics that make the whole thing a piece of art.
Magdalena Sadowska, PhotoAiD
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
The book tells a compelling story of three women, Dorothy Vaughn, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson, all of whom haven’t received well-deserved recognition until much later. The book not only tells the story of those three key figures and their contribution to NASA history but also gives an in-depth look at the reality of previous generations, something children and especially teens might find interesting. The whole concept of the Space Race, around which the book centers around, is bound to grab the younger readers’ curiosity.
Michal Laszuk, PhotoAiD
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I would recommend teens to read Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, which has been adapted for young readers. Teens will get an inside look at the former First Lady’s life and a journey that is so inspiring and uplifting. It is a page-turner that you won’t want to put down.
Michelle Siy, Oliver Wicks
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey
Gifted Hands is a book filled with lessons about grit, determination and will. The story about one of the pioneers of neurosurgery shows how a young boy who was deemed unintelligent because of lack of some basic amenities, was bullied, faced racial differences and also didn’t have the full care of a father went through life and became one of the finest doctors around, even against oppositions. This teaches kids that circumstances may make a difference but shouldn’t be a sole determinator of how they should live life, and will also let them see that anything is possible so long as you put your mind to it. It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth it.
Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
I would recommend Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. It’s a memoir of the author’s childhood growing up in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement, and it’s a beautiful and important story that deserves to be shared with kids. The book is written in free verse, and it captures the feeling of being a kid so well that readers will feel like they know her personally. It’s also a good introduction to the Civil Rights Movement for kids who might not know much about it. The book is written from the perspective of a child and captures the innocence and wonder of childhood, but it also touches on some serious issues, such as racism and segregation, which is a great way to start a conversation with children about these social issues.
Tiffany Homan, Texas Divorce Laws
Night by Elie Wiesel
One memoir I would highly recommend for kids and teens is Elie Wiesel’s classic novel “Night.” The memoir captures Wiesel’s experience during the Holocaust as a young man. Wiesel’s frank and honest tone makes “Night” a timeless historical classic through and through. The book is also often required reading in high schools worldwide.
Lyudmyla Dobrynina, Optimeal
My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly
‘My Journey to the Stars’ is a fitting autobiography for kids and teens since it expands their minds to think scientifically. Authored by Scott Kelly, an astronaut who spent a whole year alone exploring Space, it makes one of the most memorable memoirs and biographies that provoke youngsters’ minds to want to devote their lives exploring the knowledge of Space. The book takes the readers through the author’s entire life from childhood to his days spent in the skies. This is what makes it most memorable and identifiable to kids and teens since they can identify with Kelly’s childhood and want to grow up to be like him.
yongming Song, Imgkits- Photo Editor
The Boy Who Had to Live With a Wolf by John B. Macdonald
I would recommend the book “The Boy Who Had to Live With a Wolf” by John B. Macdonald, which is about a boy who was raised by wolves in the Canadian wilderness. It’s a really interesting story about how he had to learn how to live with them before he could rejoin civilization.
Amer Hasovic, Love & Lavender
The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
During growing age, kids and teens find it difficult to adapt to the new environment and people. The house on the mango street illustrates ways how the kids can accept the vibrant environment around them. It’s a book filled with Getty Images and a message of going through the transformations positively in life. The book helps the children understand that people have different colors, castes, and beliefs, and together as citizens, it is important to understand and accept them. The book is an eye-opener for our kids and has the power to change their entire life and thought processes positively.
Agnes Zabawa, Insurancenavy
When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub
I don’t know a single teen who doesn’t love movies. Whether they’re into Marvel or Marriage Story, everyone loves a good movie. “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead” by Jerry Weintraub is a unique, inspiring, and fantastic insight into the life of a Hollywood Producer. Jerry was responsible for bringing talents like Elvis, George Clooney, & Brad Pitt into popular culture. He was also an incredibly social and loved guy within Hollywood circles, and can tell stories like no other. While some teens find themselves drawn to video games or mathematics, I know that others fall in love with film. For those movie lovers, they’ll find this autobiography to be an absolute gem.
Craig Galloway, Tech Detective
I Am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
I would recommend the memoir “I Am Malala” for kids and teens. In this memoir, Malala Yousafzai tells her story of growing up in Pakistan and being an advocate for girls’ education. She also describes being shot by the Taliban and her recovery. This is an inspirational story about overcoming adversity and standing up for what you believe in.
Jordan Woolf, We Buy Houses in Bama
Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder by Sean Mortimer and Tony Hawk
An autobiography that I highly recommend for kids and teens is Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder. Every kid knows who Tony Hawk is, and his biography is really inspiring because it doesn’t just apply to skateboarding. The overall message is very inspirational and speaks of trials that were overcome in creative ways. Essentially, Tony Hawk used his creative outlet (skateboarding) as a way to escape, and it also turned into a lucrative career!
Tyler Hull, Modern Exterior
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