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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: mj on January 09, 2016, 12:59 PM

Title: biography as early chapter book
Post by: mj on January 09, 2016, 12:59 PM
 :help2  I would love some samples to look at of biographies written as early chapter books. I have looked at several "Who Was" series. Anything else?

Also, what are pros and cons of taking the "based on a true story" approach and just write my story as non fiction?
I refer to A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park as my guide for this approach.

Thank you anyone and everyone for suggestions.  :yourock
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: dinalapomy101 on January 09, 2016, 01:39 PM
Hi MJ!

The WHO WAS series is super popular at my library. So is the GREAT WOMEN IN HISTORY series by Cobblestone Press.

Do you mean that you could just turn your real person into a novelized version? (A Long Walk to Water is fiction based on a real person.) You certainly can! But I don't know what the ethics are of doing it about a person who is still alive if you use their exact name and facts about their life.
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on January 10, 2016, 09:06 PM
The subject of A Long Walk to Water is still alive. He told his story to Linda Sue Park. You'd need input and permission. Without that, you risk being accused of libel. It's not just the person involved, but the peripheral characters around that person, who are also alive or have family members to act in their steads on behalf of their estates. Please consider asking in the SCBWI Ask A Lawyer portion of the boards for the real legal implications as I'm just guessing.
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: Vijaya on January 11, 2016, 10:14 AM
I just pulled up a bunch of newer biographies for kids on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=biographies+for+kids&sprefix=biographies+%2Caps%2C153

Some opinions. I love CB biographies. I remember reading them when I was 7 and 8 and it's the perfect age to fuel this interest. I've read both straight NF and biographies that I would call historical fiction (made up dialogue, feelings that aren't recorded) but very close to the real. I think both are of value. I love having a period and a person come to life for me on the page and most of the time you needn't resort to making up stuff.

Good luck, Vijaya
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: zoraida-rivera on January 12, 2016, 07:27 AM
I'm researching to write a picture book biography. I've read that editors prefer well-researched narratives to ficitionalized  dialogue. Considering Common Core needs is a plus when marketing these books.
See: http://www.hbook.com/2013/09/using-books/todays-picture-book-biographies-back-matter-matters/. 

Although my focus is on picture books I'm including the following links in case they are helpful. May you find your answers. 

http://www.writermag.com/2011/10/29/tips-writing-biography/

http://www.slj.com/2015/02/collection-development/inventors-innovators-and-inspirers-great-picture-book-biographies/#_

http://delightfulchildrensbooks.com/2012/10/21/30-picture-book-biographies/

Success to you.

Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: mj on January 12, 2016, 01:16 PM
Thank you everyone. Vijaya and zoraida-rivera, thank you for the links to other sources.The CB bio feels right to me. I am more excited than ever. I hope I will be able to submit a proof to you all some day. :yourock
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: zoraida-rivera on January 13, 2016, 07:42 PM
Best of luck, mj.  Just be like a stamp and stick to it, till you get to your destination. (Found that it twitter. Loved it.)
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: mj on January 14, 2016, 05:01 PM
zoraida-rivera, Can I be an Elvis stamp? I think that would help me stick with it. What we learn on Twitter - I love it too. :yourock
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: zoraida-rivera on January 15, 2016, 08:15 PM
Choose your stamp and stick to it,mj!  You can do it! Work on that first draft and lock the critic out! Don't hear him when he knocks! (Or is it a she?)

By the way, I watched many of Elvis movies and I love twitter, too. Didn't think I would like it that much!  Keep sticking!
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: linda-brewster on January 18, 2016, 01:29 PM
Hi mj,

You might like to take a look at "Rose O'Neill: The Girl Who Loved to Draw" It is a biography non-fiction chapter picture book. It was written from the memories of O'Neill but if you don't have access to first hand accounts there are many biographies for 8 year olds and up. Look at resources the author includes in books you are studying.
Title: Re: biography as early chapter book
Post by: zoraida-rivera on January 22, 2016, 06:55 AM
THANKS, linda-rodgers. I started a draft today. I have some research done since I did an assignment for the Institute of Children's Literature about this man. I'm reading First Aid Book 2 and I've been meeting my goals so far. This is one of them. I WILL have two polished picture books by the end of the year, so help me God.
 
Good writing to you all.