Biography/Autobiography

Reaching for the Moon: The autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Recommended by Paul Brackenridge @mr_brackenridge Author: Katherine Johnson Form: Prose Autobiography Length: 248 pages Brief synopsis: The autobiography of Katherine Johnson, who broke boundaries as an African-American girl growing up in an era of brutal racism and sexism. Showing an exceptional aptitude for Mathematics, she was hired as a ‘computer’ by the organisation that would …

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My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay

Recommended by Jennifer Webb @funkypedagogy Form: Prose Autobiography Author: Lemn Sissay Length: 224 pages Brief synopsis: Raw, heartbreaking and uplifting account of Sissay’s childhood in the care system. This book explores identity, family, adoption, foster care, institutionalisation, race and belonging. Age recommendation and challenging content: This text covers mature content and describes upsetting racist incidents and …

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Chinese Cindarella by Adeline Yen Mah

Recommended by Hidaya Hallak (@Hallak_RH) Form and genre: prose, a true account of the writer’s childhood Length: 304 pages Summary: Adeline describes her difficult experiences growing up in China in a wealthy family who loathe her and consider her bad luck/ a curse, as her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. Her father …

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