Who Was…? What Was…?

Chapter book biographies of people, places, and events in history.

Fast-paced, factual, entertaining, and highly-readable! With fun and informational sidebars, and black and white images throughout.

Grosset & Dunlap, ages 6 and up
 

Test Your Knowledge Game
 

Resources for Educators


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Who Was Babe Ruth?

  • A little boy who got into lots of trouble
  • A man who played practical jokes
  • A Yankees home run king

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Who Was Marco Polo?

  • A boy who lived in Venice, Italy, seven hundred years ago
  • A teenager who traveled to China - and came back twenty-four years later
  • The author of a travel book that inspired Christopher Columbus

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What Was the Gold Rush?

  • Bedbug, Hangtown, and Murderer's Gulch were mining camps
  • People poured into California to get rich quick
  • The largest nugget weighed 195 pounds

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What Is the Statue of Liberty?

  • It was a gift from France celebrating the one hundredth birthday of the United States
  • The statue was shipped across the ocean in 350 pieces
  • Her sandals are twenty-five feet long—that’s size 879 shoes!

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What Was Woodstock?

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What Were the Salem Witch Trials?

  • Young girls babbled wildly, making no sense
  • Having a mole or birthmark was proof you were a witch
  • Twenty innocent people were put to death

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Who Was Johnny Appleseed?

  • A wilderness folk hero who could talk to birds
  • A real man named John Chapman
  • A nature lover who planted thousands of apple trees for piorneer families to enjoy

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Who Was Jim Henson?

  • A boy who loved drawing animals
  • A teenager whose puppet shows were on TV
  • The creator of the world-famous Muppets

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What Was the First Thanksgiving?

  • There were no forks at the first feast, only spoons and knives
  • Native American guests brought the turkeys
  • No one ate cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie

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Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers and Swirly Stars

Grosset & Dunlap, ages 5 to 9

(This is a biography, but not in the Who Was series)

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“This clever biography—disguised as a report by a fictitious student named Brad Bucks—creatively conveys the essence of van Gogh's short, sad life and brilliant work in terms that elementary school children can understand. An assignment sheet serves as the book's introduction. Brad, a budding artist himself, picks van Gogh as his artist because he heard on TV that his painting, The Portrait of Dr. Gachet, sold for over $82 million dollars. He is surprised to learn that van Gogh was poor. Although the artist created more than 1,700 paintings and drawings during his ten-year career, he sold only one—The Red Vineyards. Brad reports that van Gogh's brother, Theo, was his best buddy and that the artist was a little weird. He couldn't hold down a job, he stuck candles in his hat so he could paint outside at night, and he cut off a piece of his ear as a present for a woman. Brad's own illustrations, along with pictures of several of van Gogh's famous pieces, complement the text. Part of the "Smart about Art" series.”

-- Children’s Literature


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