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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Books About Heroes We Didn't Learn About in History Class

I recently finished the book The Invention of Wings. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the story very much. At the end it played an author's note, I love hearing about how authors get inspired for the stories they write. It was shocking to me that the Grimke sisters, (who the story revolved around)- were real people. As was Denmark Vesey-an activist who ended up giving his life to the cause. It was shocking because I had never heard of those people. Having an avid interest in history growing up, I paid attention in History class. I even took a few electives in college voluntarily to learn more. We did not learn about these people and probably 1,000's of other who changed the history of our country.

So once a week, I try to share a story with my students about a hero they may not have heard of before. I actually often learn about them right along with my students. Here are some books I recommend:


I knew about Ruby Bridges, but had not heard of Sylvia Mendez and her family before reading this book. They fought to allow all schools to register students of Hispanic descent.


It amazes me how some people are just born with talents and interests. This was Jacques Cousteau who always dreamed about photographing the ocean underwater and developed a way to do it. He led a charge for keeping oceans clean.


In the Appalachian Mountains families did not have access to libraries-so a group of women brought libraries to the people on their horses.


My favorite part of this book was that when RBG was little and left-handed everyone tried to change that-but even back then she dissented. I had a similar experience-my father would take the spoon out of the left hand and put in the right hoping to break me of being a lefty. :)


Jane Goodall changed the way the world sees monkeys. She, it seems was also born with that interest and talent.


Bravery in a different sense. Joan Procter was the only one brave enough to help an ailing Komodo Dragon. She set up unique reptile habitats to draw people in and teach them about her favorite lizards.


Another story I never learned about. During the Civil Rights Movement, MLK and his allies had an idea to fill the jails with protesters, so there would be no more room to arrest them during their protests. The children volunteered to be arrested and spend time in jail in order to make that happen.


She was told she couldn't be a scientist because she was a girl and that she couldn't study sharks because they were too vicious. She proved everyone wrong and educated people about these fascinating creatures.



One woman completely changed the landscape of a whole city just by planting trees!


A community banded together to help baby sea turtles hatch and find their way to the ocean. My favorite part of the story is this was done by kids inspired by a research project.


        A real life Miss Rumphius! This First Lady wanted to see flowers planted everywhere-highways, parks, etc. She wanted to bring the beauty of the country she grew up with to all children.




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