Pre-K

Growing Reader

There’s an Ordinary People Change the World Story for Every Child

by Iva-Marie Palmer

Oddly (or perhaps appropriately) enough, the Ordinary People Change the World series of picture book biographies began with a fairly common observation: Brad Meltzer, who has penned a number of bestselling adult thrillers, noticed his daughter’s clothing options all featured fictional heroes, including those of the princess variety. But instead of sigh and move on, Meltzer decided that if kids were going to have heroes, why not give them some real ones? In January 2014, the series launched with I am Abraham Lincoln and I am Amelia Earhart.

During their prime read-to-me years, little kids are apt to fall in love with the characters in their favorite picture books — and these real figures are a good place to start. Each Ordinary People Change the World story is told in a kid-friendly, conversational way and the back of each book includes a timeline of the subject’s life to inspire more learning.

Here are some of the best Ordinary People Change the World books featuring some of the most interesting “ordinary” people in world history:

Which books in the Ordinary People Change the World series are your family’s favorites? Let us know in the comments below!