Biographies

Molly Bang

Growing up with Books and Traveling the World

With a scientist/writer for a mother and a research physician for a father, it’s little wonder that Molly Bang grew up to be a writer and illustrator who would eventually make it her mission to create books that drawn children into the world of science. Her family kept a large library and would often give each other books illustrated by the famous Charles Rackham as gifts. Molly found these to be inspiring.

After she graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in French, Molly traveled to Japan to teach English at a university there for 18 months before returning to work on master’s degrees in Oriental studies. Then it was back overseas to illustrate health manuals for UNICEF, as well as Johns Hopkins and Harvard, working, among other places, in Calcutta and Bangladesh.

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors

By Chris Barton

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The story of Joe and Bob Switzer who experimented with ultraviolet lights and flourescent paints and invented a new kind of color called Day-Glo.
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If I Live to be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians

By Neenah Ellis, editor

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A series of interviews with 19 people who talked about their 100+ years of life. Some are funny, many are inspirational, and all are fascinating.
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Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America

By Karenna Gore Schiff

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"This inspirational look at nine women who changed modern America profiles Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mother Jones, Alice Hamilton, Frances Perkins, Virginia Durr, Septima Clark, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, and Gretchen Buchenholz--women who in their own ways tackled inequity and advocated change."

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The Women Who Wrote the War

By Nancy Caldwell Sorel

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Celebrates the accomplishments of World War II's female war correspondents, who risked their lives in combat zones to provide firsthand reports on the events of the war.

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The Lives and Times of the Great Composers

By Michael Steen

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A grand and panoramic biograhical history of the giants of classical music, The Lives and Times of Great Composers is a new, unique, and lovingly constructed modern reference--and a beguiling read which you will return to again and again. Interlinked yet self-contained, each chapter distills the life of one or more composers, set against the social, political, musical, and cultural background of the time. Read the story of Bach, the respectable burgher, much of whose vast output was composed amidst petty turf disputes in Luteran Leipzig; or the ugly, argumentative Beethoven, obsessed by his laundry; or Mozart, the over-exploited infant prodigy whose untimely death was shrouded in rumor; or the ghastly death of Donizetti and Smetana.

Read about Verdi, who composed against the background of the Italian Risorgimento, or about the family life of the Wagners; and Brahms, who rose from the slums of Hamburg to become a devotee of beer and coffee in fin-de-siecle Vienna, a cultural capital bent on destroying Mahler. Michael Steen paints a vivid portrait of the tumultuous times in which these brilliant, yet flawed, human beings labored--a tour of 350 years of European history.

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Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Alan Steinberg

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Estevanico: Black Presence in the Americas -- The First Rhode Island; Peter Salem; Salem Poor; James Armistead Lafayette; Crispus Attucks -- Joseph Cinque: Black Revolt -- Frederick Douglass: Freedom on the World Stage -- Harriet Tubman: Freedom in the Shadows -- Bass Reeves: Black Individualism in the West -- Blacks in the Military -- Lewis H. Latimer: Black Intellectual Achievement -- Rosa Parks: Black Heart.

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And Still We Rise: Interviews with 50 Black Role Models

By Barbara A Reynolds

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This book contains 50 conversations with successful African Americans who can serve as role models for everyone. Some of the role models include Coretta Scott King, Marva Collins, Maya Angelou, Ray Charles, Shirley Chisholm, Wilma Rudolph, Coleman Young.

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A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete

By Arthur R. Ashe, Jr.; with the assistance of Kip Branch, Ocania Chalk, and Francis Harris

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This is an authoritative treatment of the history of African American athletes in the US, presented within the context of American social and cultural life. It's also the enduring legacy of the late tennis star, Arthur Ashe.

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A Portrait of Jane Austen

By Lord David Cecil

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"Not much about Jane Austen's personality can be gleaned from her works. It is from her letters, from the evidence of the friends and relations, and above all from a knowledge of the kind of life led and ideas held by the society she was born into, that we are to know her."
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