From School Library Journal
Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. In Their Own Words biographies focus on famous people who left a record of their own lives. Beginning with an explanation of the difference between primary and secondary sources, Sullivan seamlessly interweaves information about his subjects with excerpts from primary sources. In the case of Helen Keller, Sullivan uses her autobiographical works; for Lincoln, he draws on speeches and letters. Both Keller and Lincoln have been covered in numerous biographies for young people (Sullivan's own Picturing Lincoln was published last fall), but these volumes are still worthwhile. The short chapters, large print, simple vocabulary, straightforward narrative, and attractive illustrations, as well as the addition of the subjects' own words, make them fine choices for early-grade biographies. They fit nicely between David Adler's Picture Book Biography series books and more challenging volumes such as Russell Freedman's classic Lincoln: A Photobiography (1987). Catherine Andronik
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