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|Grade 6 - Grade 12
|Number of Pages
|Reinforced Library Bound Hardcovers, Anywhere eBooks
|1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations
|6.25 x 9.25
|Glossary of key words, Index, Informative sidebars, Reviewed, Sources for further research, Table of contents, and Timeline of key events
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Essential Lives Set 8 - Booklist
This series does an excellent job of depicting each individual as a nuanced human rather than an icon.
Leonardo da Vinci (Essential Lives) – School Library Journal
Many readers will only know Leonardo da Vinci as the artist of the Mona Lisa when they open this book, but they will likely finish it with a greater sense of interest and intrigue about him. The author includes discussions of not only the man as an artist but also as scientist, teacher, and philosopher. His life is put into historical context with brief mentions of wars and political turnovers that affected his work and commissions. The last chapter, “Leonardo’s Legacy,” stands out as his achievements are put into context for those who may not comprehend what the past has to do with the world today.
Bill Gates (Essential Lives) – School Library Journal
These biographies provide an update on Gates’s professional and personal life. Each account follows the now-familiar journey of the young computer genius from a prominent Seattle family to Harvard dropout, multibillionaire technology visionary, and defendant in lawsuits. What these books do is focus more than earlier biographies on his and wife Melinda’s philanthropic work throughout the world, including their health and education initiatives. Schuman’s volume stands out a bit from the others by being both the most readable and the one with the strongest coverage of the Gateses’ public leadership role.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Essential Lives) – School Library Journal
This readable biography further amplifies Wilder’s life and correlates it with her books. . . . [It] does not gloss over the difficult life faced by pioneers in the latter half of the 19th century and includes events that Wilder deemed too difficult for young readers. . . . The many sidebars expand the text and provide facts. . . . This volume is packed with relevant material, a time line, archival photographs, quotes from primary sources, and an official Web site.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Essential Lives) – Booklist
Beginning with a publishing history of Little House in the Big Woods (1932), this title in the Essential Lives series first explains how the Great Depression affected Wilder personally and professionally. Berne then recounts the highlights of Wilder’s life, emphasizing how reality differed from her published fiction. Frequent sidebars add more detailed information to the main narrative, while maps, period photographs and drawings, and contemporary pictures of key sites add clarity and interest.