New Collected Biographies

2021 brought in a new crop of this popular style of books—for younger elementary to upper middle grade readers—all chock full of diverse solutionaries to learn about!

Illustrated collected biographies—often featuring little-known and/or forgotten solutionaries—have been hot since the first new-era batch of girl power ones burst onto the scene in 2016. This year is no exception, with an array of new ones on various topics hitting the shelves.

Here are some new collected biographies that have caught our eye—some fit our Solutionary Stories parameters (diverse illustrated picture book nonfiction) and others not completely (they're photo-illustrated and/or middle-grade). But all seem to be in the Solutionary spirit and definitely worth checking out!

Younger Elementary:

In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American Immigrants of Color

Celebratory, triumphant, and inspiring, In the Spirit of a Dream is a tribute to American immigrants of color, written in poems and illustrated by 14 first- and second-generation immigrant artists.

Old Enough To Save The Planet

Meet 12 young activists from around the world who are speaking out and taking action against climate change. Learn about the work they do and the challenges they face, and discover how the future of our planet starts with each and every one of us.

Right Now!: Real Kids Speaking Up for Change

A joyful, inspiring picture book that introduces readers to eleven young people from around the world who didn't wait until they were grown to speak up about things that matter to them and change the world for the better, from an award-winning author and New York Times best-selling illustrator.

She's On the Money

Queen Cleopatra had coins made with her face on them. Japan put writer Ichiyō Higuchi on the 5,000 yen note more than 100 years after her death. And Eva Perón was the first Argentine woman on a bill. These biographies examine 15 extraordinary women who have appeared on coins or bills--and how they got there.

Who Is A Scientist?

Meet fourteen phenomenal scientists who might just change the way you think about who a scientist is. Photo illustrated.

Middle Grade:

Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.

She Raised Her Voice!: 50 Black Women Who Sang Their Way Into Music History

A fully illustrated middle-grade anthology celebrating Black women singers throughout history in a first-of-its-kind collection.

Just Like Me: 40 Neurologically and Physically Diverse People Who Broke Stereotypes

An anthology of 40 neurologically or physically diverse. figures who have challenged stereotypes, from Ludwig von Beethoven to Frida Kahlo to Daniel Radcliffe.

Notable Native People:

50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present

An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

RBG's Brave & Brilliant Women: 33 Jewish Women to Inspire Everyone

This collection of biographies of brave and brilliant Jewish female role models--selected in collaboration with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and including an introduction written by the iconic Supreme Court justice herself-- provides young people with a roster of inspirational role models, all of whom are Jewish women, who will appeal not only to young people but to people of all ages, and all faiths.

Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

Interviews with 25 young eco-activists present a hopeful picture of the future of environmentalism. Photo illustrated.

No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves

Join author Lee Wind for this fascinating journey through primary sources--poetry, memoir, news clippings, and images of ancient artwork--to explore the hidden (and often surprising) Queer lives and loves of two dozen historical figures. Upper MG to YA/For grades 6-12.