I love to read biographies out loud with the kids. There is just something about sharing the life of a notable person that opens up the path for some good discussion. When we read about heroes, we can talk about what it means to act like a hero. When we read about the failures and frailty of a familiar character, we can discuss how we all fail and what to do in response to failure.
I recently had the opportunity to review The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Buffalo Bill Cody in Bleeding Kansas by Andrea Warren. This is a biography of the life of Buffalo Bill written for upper elementary and middle school children.
The biography is very well-written. It isn't a dry retelling of the life of this legendary character. The events in the story move along at a fast-paced and include interesting information as well as the action and adventure of Buffalo Bill's life.
The life of Buffalo Bill is related with attention to certain events that shaped him and that demonstrate the history of the time period he lived in. There is information about his family and events that happened as he grew up. Readers learn about how slavery was impacting Kansas and the life of Buffalo Bill. Events are related that show how and why Bill became such an awesome horseman and the legend he has become. There are also excellent photographs and illustrations that bring history alive for the reader.
If you're looking for a fast-paced biography for middle-grade readers or reading about Westward expansion and slavery, The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill is an excellent biography. You can find it on Amazon here.
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