Biographies can provide powerful reading material for teens. For reluctant readers, biographies are a great way to immerse themselves in a true story. Reading inspiring books allows young adults to learn valuable life lessons that go beyond their own experiences. Learning about the successes and failures of others is important for what lies in the future for teenagers. Here is a list of 20 middle school biographies that teenagers would benefit from reading.
1. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
A perfect book for middle schoolers. No matter the size of your group, big or small, and whatever your goal is, Daniel Coyle takes you through the culture chemistry principles that can turn individuals into teams with the capabilities to create and accomplish great things.
2. Educated: A Memoir
A heartfelt story exploring the role of education in 17-year-old protagonist Tara Westover's coming of age. Westover's journey to literacy opens up a whole new world for her - but will she find her way home?
3. Into the Wild
How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of life, reflection, and struggle in the wilderness.
4. Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery
Scott Kelly is a four-time space veteran and holds the American record for the longest consecutive days spent in outer space. In his life story, we gain a deeper understanding of the human imagination and persevering strength.
5. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
An Army Air Forces bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean and is captured by the Japanese. Zamperini faces desperation with ingenuity; suffering, hope, resolve, and humor.
6. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
A story of a childhood survivor of the Cambodian genocide, this is a war crime narrative that reveals the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family.
7. Twelve Years a Slave
A reliable and accurate eyewitness account of the daily lives of slaves; in particular, an authentic narrative of a man starved of his freedom.
8. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Perfect for casual readers, this bestselling memoir by the creator of Nike shares the company's early stages as a start-up and how it evolved into one of most iconic household names and profitable brands in the world.
9. The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller
The remarkable story of Helen Keller's blindness and deafness. A truly inspirational biography that shows the struggles and joys of her life.
10. The Bell Jar
A look into the life of Esther and her deep, dark descent into insanity which feels all too real and rational.
11. The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
In the Dutch Underground, Corrie Ten Boom and her family become leaders in hiding Jewish people from the Nazis.
A brave and inspiring story of Will Smith - his learning curve that leads to an alignment of success, inner happiness, and human connection.
13. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
A trek in 1996 to Mount Everest that leads to a disastrous expedition that claims the lives of eight climbers.
14. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?
Drawing on experiences as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Julie Smith shares the skills needed to navigate typical life challenges while also taking control of your mental health and emotions.
A deep reflection on Michelle Obama and her experiences that have shaped her to be one of the most iconic women in our era.
16. Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler
A story of an American childhood during the Civil Rights Movement that shaped Octavia Butler into the science-fiction storyteller that she became.
17. Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
An African-American history story where freedom, self respect, educational programs and industrial training are worth fighting for black Americans.
18. Up Close: Jane Goodall
The story of a young woman from London who travels to Africa to revolutionize views on chimpanzees, forest conservation, and women in scientific fields.
19. Autobiography of a Face
A heart-wrenching story about the author's disfiguring cancer and how she dealt with the pain and healing. In a world that obsesses over physical attributes, she looks for acceptance, inner peace and love.
20. We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist and author of many biographies for teens. A story that paints a vivid picture of what it's like to live in a refugee camp during war and border conflicts. A fascinating story that reminds us that every displaced person has hopes and dreams.