#SurvivalStories2021 Award-Winning Books Early Readers Genre Horror and Deliverance in Books International Lifespan of a Reader Middle Grade Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

The “Gifted Others” in Diverse Picturebook Biographies

A presentation for the National Association for Gifted Children conference 2021.

Myra here.

In a few days, I will be presenting a paper at the National Association for Gifted Children annual convention with wonderful colleagues. To complement that presentation, I will be sharing the book list here. I do feel that these books fit our themes perfectly as they demonstrate human beings’ capacity to survive (and thrive) and the use of narratives as a form of deliverance.


Here is our definition of the diverse gifted ‘others.’

This curation is based on some of the themes that will be mentioned in our presentation.

Experimentation and Resourcefulness | Sense of purpose fueling cognitive skills and drive to learn | Keen Powers of Observation, Attention to Detail, Endless curiosity

Magic Ramen: The Story Of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang and Kana Urbanowicz – 2019 Honor Book: Freeman Book Award
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Little Bee Books (2019)
ISBN: 9781499807035 (ISBN10: 1499807031)

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer and Elizabeth Zunon – 2012 Medal: Children’s Africana Book Award
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Dial Books (2012)
ISBN: 9780803735118 (ISBN10: 0803735111)

The Vast Wonder Of The World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just by Melina Mangal and Luisa Uribe
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Millbrook Press (2018)
ISBN: 9781512483758 (ISBN10: 1512483753)

Mario And The Hole In The Sky: How A Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch and Teresa Martinez
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Charlesbridge Publishing (2019)
ISBN: 9781580895811 (ISBN10: 1580895816)

Non-white gifted thinkers from outside the US

Confucius: Great Teacher Of China by Demi – 2018 Honor: Freeman Book Award
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published by Lee & Low Books (2017)
ISBN: 9781620141939 (ISBN10: 1620141930)

The Legend Of Lao Tzu And The Tao Te Ching by Demi
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books (2007)
ISBN: 9781416912064 (ISBN10: 1416912061)

Su Dongpo: Chinese Genius by Demi
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published by Lee & Low Books (2006)
ISBN: 9781584302568 (ISBN10: 1584302569)

The Boy Who Dreamed Of Infinity: A Tale Of The Genius Ramanujan by Amy Alznauer and Daniel Miyares
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Candlewick Press (2020)
ISBN: 9780763690489 (ISBN10: 0763690481)

The Amazing Discoveries Of Ibn Sina by Fatima Sharafeddine and Intelaq Mohammed Ali
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Groundwood Books (2015)
ISBN: 9781554987108 (ISBN10: 1554987105)

The Amazing Travels Of Ibn Battuta by Fatima Sharafeddine and Intelaq Mohammed Ali
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Groundwood Books (2014)
ISBN: 9781554984800 (ISBN10: 1554984807)

Rumi: Whirling Dervish by Demi
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Two Lions (2009)
ISBN: 9780761455271 (ISBN10: 0761455272)

Al Ghazali by Demi
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Fonz Vitae (2015)
ISBN: 9781941610121 (ISBN10: 1941610129)

Women in STEM

Maryam’s Magic: The Story Of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani by Megan Reid and Aaliya Jaleel
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published by Balzer + Bray (2021)
ISBN: 9780062915962 (ISBN10: 0062915967)

Counting On Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker and Dow Phumiruk
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Henry Holt & Co. (2018)
ISBN: 9781250137524  (ISBN10: 1250137527)

A Computer Called Katherine by Suzanne Slade and Veronica Miller Jamison
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 9780316435178 (ISBN10: 0316435171)

Counting The Stars: The Story Of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician by Lesa Cline-Ransome and Raul Colon
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Simon Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books (2019)
ISBN: 9781534404755 (ISBN10: 1534404759)

Hidden Figures: The True Story Of Four Black Women And The Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling and Laura Freeman – 2019 Nominee: Coretta Scott King Book Award Nominee
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harper Collins (2018)
ISBN: 9780062742469 (ISBN10: 0062742469)

She Caught The Light: Williamina Stevens Fleming – Astronomer by Kathryn Lasky and Juliana Swaney
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published by Harper Collins (2021)
ISBN: 9780062849304 (ISBN10: 0062849301)

Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt: Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh and Raul Colon
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Paula Wiseman Books / Simon & Schuster (2013)
ISBN: 9781442481107 (ISBN10: 1442481102)

Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of by Helaine Becker and Kari Rust
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Kids Can Press (2020)
ISBN: 9781525300592 (ISBN10: 1525300598)

Numbers In Motion – Sophie Kowalevski: Queen Of Mathematics by Laurie Wallmark and Yevgenia Nayberg
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Creston Books (2020)
ISBN: 9781939547637 (ISBN10: 1939547636)

Queen Of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock The Secrets Of The Atom by Teresa Robeson and Rebecca Huang – 2020 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2019)
ISBN: 9781454932208 (ISBN10: 1454932201)

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story Of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe and Barbara McClintock – 2019 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Nominee
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Little Brown & Co. (2018)
ISBN: 9780316394284 (ISBN10: 0316394289)

The Bug Girl: A True Story by Sophia Spencer with Margaret McNamara and Kerascoet
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published by Schwartz & Wade Books (2020)
ISBN: 9780525645931 (ISBN10: 0525645934)

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets In The Rainforest by Heather Lang and Jana Christy
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Calkins Creek (2021)
ISBN: 9781684371778 (ISBN10: 1684371775)

Secrets Of The Sea: The Story Of Jeanne, Power Revolutionary Marine Scientist by Evan Griffith and Joanie Stone
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Clarion Books (2021)
ISBN: 9780358244325  (ISBN10: 0358244323)

Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed The Ocean’s Biggest Secret by Jess Keating and Katie Hickey – 2021 Riverby Awards
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Tundra Books (2020)
ISBN: 9780735265080 (ISBN10: 0735265089)

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh and Raul Colon
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Simon Schuster | Paula Wiseman Books (2016)
ISBN: 9781481416009 (ISBN10: 1481416006)

Shark Lady: The True Story Of How Eugenie Clark Became The Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Miguens
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Sourcebooks Explore (2017)
ISBN: 9781492642046 (ISBN10: 1492642045)

Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries Of Mary Anning, The First Paleontologist by Linda Skeers and Marta Alvarez Miguens
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. (2020)
ISBN: 9781728209517 (ISBN10: 172820951X)

When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T-Rex by Toni Buzzeo and Diana Sudyka
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2019)
ISBN: 9781419731631 (ISBN10: 1419731637)

Joan Procter Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and Felicita Sala – 2019 Orbis Pictus Nominee, Monarch Award Nominee 2020
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (2018)
ISBN: 9780399557262 (ISBN10: 0399557261)

Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist: The True Story Of A World-Traveling Bug Hunter by Christine Evans and Yasmin Imamura
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Innovation Press (2019)
ISBN: 9781943147663 (ISBN10: 1943147663)

Please see here for even more titles of books featuring female empowerment.


Motivation and Persistence

A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier And The Invention Of The Rosetta Bead by Evan Turk
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2020)
ISBN: 9781534410343 (ISBN10: 1534410341)

Jump At The Sun: The True Life Tale Of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams and Jacqueline Alcantara
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (2021)
ISBN: 9781534419131 (ISBN10: 1534419136)

The Fearless Flights Of Hazel Ying Lee by Julie Leung and Julie Kwon
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2021)
ISBN: 9781368052276 (ISBN10: 1368052274)

How To Solve A Problem: The Rise (And Falls) Of A Rock-Climbing Champion by Ashima Shiraishi and Yao Xiao
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Make Me A World (2020)
ISBN: 9781524773281 (ISBN10: 152477328X)

Yusra Swims by Julie Abery and Sally Deng
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Creative Editions (2020)
ISBN: 9781568463292 (ISBN10: 1568463294)

A Girl Called Genghis Khan: How Maria Toorpakai Wazir Pretended to Be a Boy, Defied the Taliban, and Became a World Famous Squash Player by Michelle Lord and Shehzil Malik
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2019)
ISBN: 9781454931362 (ISBN10: 1454931361)

Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon by Simrat Jeet Singh and Baljinder Kaur
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Kokila (2020)
ISBN: 9780525555094 (ISBN10: 0525555099)

Sakamoto’s Swim Club: How A Teacher Led An Unlikely Team To Victory by Julie Abery and Chris Sasaki
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Kids Can Press (2021)
ISBN: 9781525300318 (ISBN10: 1525300318)

Heightened Multifaceted Sensitivities, Overexcitabilities, A More Nuanced Perception Of The World

Frida by Benjamin Lacombe and Sebastien Perez
Hardcover, 70 pages
Published by Edelvives (2016)
ISBN: 9788414004029

A Boy Named Isamu: A Story Of Isamu Noguchi by James Yang
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers (2021)
ISBN: 9780593203446 (ISBN10: 0593203445)

Rock By Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand by Jennifer Bradbury and Sam Boughton
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (2021)
ISBN: 9781481481823 (ISBN10: 1481481827)

Dancing Through Fields Of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler by Elizabeth Brown and Aimee Sicuro
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2019)
ISBN: 9781419734106 (ISBN10: 1419734105)

Yayoi Kusama: From Here To Infinity by Sarah Suzuki and Ellen Weinstein
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Museum of Modern Art (2017)
ISBN: 9781633450394 (ISBN10: 1633450392)

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harper Collins (2018)
ISBN: 9780062447616 (ISBN10: 0062447610)

A Life Made By Hand: The Story Of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Princeton Architectural Press (2019)
ISBN: 9781616898366 (ISBN10: 1616898364)

The Bluest Of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs by Fiona Robinson
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2019)
ISBN: 9781419725517 (ISBN10: 1419725513)

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales – 2019: Pura Belpré Award
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Neal Porter Books (2018)
ISBN: 9780823440559 (ISBN10: 0823440559)

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Harper Collins (2019)
ISBN: 9780062748683 (ISBN10: 0062748688)

Please see here for even more titles of books featuring discipline, motivation, and persistence and high creatives.


Well-developed Sense of Moral Justice

The Power Of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by Lesa Cline-Ransome and John Parra
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (2020)
ISBN: 9781481462891 (ISBN10: 148146289X)

Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy and C. F. Payne – 2017: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Nominee
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Simon & Schuster | Paula Wiseman Books (2016)
ISBN: 9781481401203 (ISBN10: 1481401203)

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade – 2021: Caldecott Medal
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Roaring Brook Press (2020)
ISBN: 9781250203557 (ISBN10: 1250203554)

Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul and John Parra
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published by Clarion Books (2019)
ISBN: 9780544800274 (ISBN10: 0544800273)

The Cat Man Of Aleppo by Irene Latham, Karim Shamsi-Basha and Yuko Shimizu – 2021: Caldecott Medal Nominee
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons (2020)
ISBN: 9781984813787 (ISBN10: 1984813781)

The House That Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams by Tanya Lee Stone and Kathryn Brown – 2016: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Nominee
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published by Henry Holt & Co. (2015)
ISBN: 9780805090499 (ISBN10: 0805090495)

The Only Woman In The Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull and Alexandra Bye
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2020)
ISBN: 9781481491518 (ISBN10: 1481491512)

Above The Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2020)
ISBN: 9781419741081 (ISBN10: 141974108X)

Microaggressions, Social Rejection, Inequalities

Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed and Stasia Burrington
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harper Collins (2018)
ISBN: 9780062651730 (ISBN10: 0062651730)

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade and Cozbi A. Cabrera – 2021: Coretta Scott King Award Nominee
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2020)
ISBN: 9781419734113 (ISBN10: 1419734113)

A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks by Alice Faye Duncan and Xia Gordon
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2019)
ISBN: 9781454930884 (ISBN10: 1454930888)

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson by Jen Bryant and Cannaday Chapman
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2019)
ISBN: 9781419736537 (ISBN10: 1419736531)

Little Melba And Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Frank Morrison – 2015: Coretta Scott King Book Award; 2015: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Lee & Low Books (2014)
ISBN: 9781600608988 (ISBN10: 1600608981)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez – 2016: Pura Belpre Medal
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2015)
ISBN: 9780544102293 (ISBN10: 0544102290)

The Secret Garden Of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta and Frank Morrison
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Katherine Tegen Books (2020)
ISBN: 9780062430151 (ISBN10: 0062430157)

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh – 2015: Jane Addams Children’s Book Award; 2015: Pura Belpre Award; 2015: NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2014)
ISBN: 9781419710544 (ISBN10: 1419710540)

Soldier For Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War by Duncan Tonatiuh – 2020: Pura Belpre Award Nominee; 2020: NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2019)
ISBN: 9781419736827 (ISBN10: 1419736825)

Please see here for even more titles of books featuring human rights advocacy, social justice, ethical and moral responsibility.


Do you have other titles you would like to recommend? We’d love to hear them.

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