Freebie

FREEBIE: Reading Log for Kids – Build a Caterpillar Printable

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hey there! A Reading Log: Build a Caterpillar printable has been added to the Freebie Library.

FREEBIE Reading Log Build a Caterpillar printable available

Contents of the Reading Log: Build a Caterpillar Printable

The Reading Log: Build a Caterpillar printable is a fun way to encourage kids to read. It comes with two pages of circles, which can be cut out with scissors or a hole punch (such as this one).

FREEBIE: Reading Log Build a Caterpillar printable

Choose a reading challenge for your kids and build a caterpillar as the challenge is completed. (I like displaying things on my wall for my kids to see, so I use a lot of painter’s tape like this. Just keep in mind that the paint may still peel if the tape is up for a long period of time.)

FREEBIE: Reading log grow a caterpillar

Directions for the Book Notes for Kids Printable

  1. Go to the Freebie Library.
  2. Scroll to the Reading Freebies section and click on the Freebie: Reading Log: Build a Caterpillar picture. (It looks the same as the picture at the top of this post.)
  3. Print the pages with the circles. You may want to print multiple copies of the page with only circles if you want to build a really long caterpillar.
  4. Cut or punch out all the circles, including the caterpillar’s head. Then display the caterpillar’s head on a wall or other visible space.
  5. Choose your reading challenge and set a goal. Each circle could represent a book that has been read or a set amount of reading time (such as fifteen minutes or thirty minutes).
  6. Each time a challenge is completed, add a circle to create the caterpillar’s body. For example, if you choose to have each circle represent fifteen minutes of reading time and your kid reads for thirty minutes, add two circles to the caterpillar display. If you choose to have each circle represent a book your kid has read, you could write the book’s title and the author’s name on the circle before adding it to your caterpillar.
  7. Continue adding circles to the caterpillar until a set goal, such as twenty circles, has been reached. If desired, offer a prize for reaching the goal.

Books to Read

Below is a list of books about butterflies, moths, and caterpillars to match the caterpillar-theme reading log.

Caterpillars on milkweed plants

Prize Ideas

Prizes are optional. But if you choose to offer a prize, here are a few caterpillar-themed ideas.

Happy Reading!

Freebie

FREEBIE: Reading Challenge Bookmarks

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hey there! Reading Challenge Bookmarks have been added to the Freebie Library.

Contents of the Reading Challenge Bookmarks Freebie

The Reading Challenge Bookmarks are a great way to encourage your kids to read. Choose from the following nine animal options: beaver, elephant, koala, duck, fox, mouse, raccoon, pig, or zebra. Or choose them all!

Each animal has its own page, which consists of four bookmarks. Below is a picture of the raccoon Reading Challenge Bookmark page.

Each Reading Challenge Bookmark has ten books to color or punch a hole through when a reading challenge is completed. Additional space is provided at the bottom to record a name and goal.

Directions for the Reading Challenge Bookmarks Freebie

  1. Go to the Freebie Library.
  2. Scroll to the Reading Freebies section and click on the Freebie: Reading Challenge Bookmarks picture. (It looks the same as the picture at the top of this post.)
  3. Print the bookmarks on card stock and cut them out. Then fill in the space for the name and reading goal. Laminate the bookmarks for more durability if desired.
  4. Choose your reading challenge. Each book on the bookmark could represent a book that has been read or a set amount of reading time (such as fifteen minutes or thirty minutes).
  5. Punch a hole through each book on the bookmark as the challenge is completed. For example, if you choose to have each book represent fifteen minutes of reading time and your kid reads for thirty minutes, punch a hole through two books on the bookmark.
  6. A prize could be offered when all ten books have a hole punched through them.
  7. Alternative option: If you don’t laminate the bookmarks, your kids could color the books as they complete the challenge.

Books to Read

Below is a list of books to get you started as you complete the Reading Challenge Bookmarks.

Happy Reading!

Themed Books

15+ Biography Book Series for Kids (With Hundreds of Book Biographies to Choose From)

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

I have enjoyed sharing themed book lists for kids on my website over the last couple of years, but I have never made a list as long as this one.

Who knew there were so many different biography series for kids available? And I didn’t even list them all!

In this post, I have listed more than fifteen biography series for kids to choose from and enjoy. Of course, each series contains multiple books, so this list includes over two hundred biography books for kids (and adults).

So many choices!

Some Considerations

I do have some caveats with this list that I’d like to mention before I share the book titles.

First, some books are categorized as biographies, but they don’t contain only facts about that person. I attended a picture book meeting with some other authors earlier this year, and we discussed how frustrating this can be. Sometimes, there may be just a small note in the beginning or at the end of the book that says something about the author taking liberties with the story.

This is especially true when it comes to dialogue since there may not be any documentation showing exactly what someone had said in specific situations. In one book that was categorized as a biography, we learned there wasn’t much known about the subject’s childhood, so the author invented that entire portion (which happened to be the majority of the book). So, with that in mind, the books listed here are categorized as biographies, but there may be some that would be better described as “based on the life of . . .”

You can’t really believe everything you read online or in books, I guess.

Second, everyone has a worldview. You have a worldview. I have a worldview. We all have a worldview. And, oftentimes, those worldviews are incorporated within books like these. Even if it’s unintentional. For example, consider two authors writing about the same person. One author is enamored by that person, but the other author has a strong distaste for that person. Even if they stick to the facts, the way in which they write and how they present the information may vary. It’s just something to keep in mind as you read about different people in books that have been written by different people and published by different companies.

Third, although my daughters and I have enjoyed reading many of these books, I have not personally read them all. So, I am not necessarily recommending all of these books. I simply wanted to share a list of some possible book biography series for kids. Please read them at your own discretion.

Fourth, if there is a particular person’s biography you are looking for, you may want to try using “cntrl” + “f” and type that person’s name in the search bar. I did not list all of the names of the people, though, so if you don’t find the name of the person you are looking for in this post, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the biography series I have listed don’t have a book about that particular person.

Fifth, affiliate links are included for your convenience, so you can easily find more information about many of the books. (I do make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of those links and make a purchase. I did spend many hours putting together this list, and the only compensation I make is from those purchases, so I do greatly appreciate it! Thank you for your support! Even if you don’t make a purchase, thank you for your support by visiting my website!)

Sixth, all of the Christian book series are marked with an asterisk.*

Seventh, since this post only contains biography series, I do hope to put together a list in the future of single picture book biographies (that are not part of a series). In the meantime, you are welcome to check out some of the other themed book lists I have on my website.

Themed Book Lists

Finally, below is the list of biography book series for kids. They are listed in alphabetical order by series. The books within each list may or may not be listed in any particular order. Books that I saw were numbered were listed by number. Otherwise, I listed the books as I found them (or in order of how the pictures loaded). I may not have found all of the books included within each series. So, some of these series may actually contain more books than I listed here. I still hope this list helps in some way.

Happy reading (and learning)!

Amazing Scientist

Read about Dr. Temple Grandin (The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin), Dr. Patricia Bath (The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath), Raye Montague (The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague), and Dr. Ella Ochoa (The Astronaut with a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ella Ochoa) in the Amazing Scientist series written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley.

Christian Heroes: Then & Now*

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 1-5, you can read about Gladys Aylward (Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime), Nate Saint (Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer), Hudson Taylor (Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China), Amy Carmichael (Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems), and Corrie ten Boom (Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of Angels Den) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 6-10, you can read about Eric Liddell (Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold), William Carey (William Carey: Obliged to Go), George Muller (George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans), Jim Elliot (Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose), and Mary Slessor (Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 11-15, you can read about David Livingstone (David Livingstone: Africa’s Trailblazer), Betty Greene (Betty Greene: Wings to Serve), Adoniram Judson (Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma), Cameron Townsend (Cameron Townsend: Good News in Every Language), and Jonathan Goforth (Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 16-20, you can read about Lottie Moon (Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China), John Williams (John Williams: Messenger of Peace), William Booth (William Booth: Soup, Soap, and Salvation), Rowland Bingham (Rowland Bingham: Into Africa’s Interior), and Ida Scudder (Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 21-25, you can read about Lillian Trasher (Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt), Wilfred Grenfell (Wilfred Grenfell: Fisher of Men), Florence Young (Florence Young: Mission Accomplished), Loren Cunningham (Loren Cunningham: Into All the World), and Sundar Singh (Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 26-30, you can read about C.T. Studd (C.T. Studd: No Retreat), Rachel Saint (Rachel Saint: A Star in the Jungle), Clarence Jones (Clarence Jones: Mr. Radio), Count Zinzendorf (Count Zinzendorf: Firstfruit), and Brother Andrew (Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 31-35, you can read about Jacob DeShazer (Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies), David Bussau (David Bussau: Facing the World Head-on), John Wesley (John Wesley: The World His Parish), C.S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis: Master Storyteller), and Isobel Kuhn (Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 36-40, you can read about Elisabeth Elliot (Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender), D.L. Moody (D.L. Moody: Bringing Souls to Christ), Paul Brand (Paul Brand: Helping Hands), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Dietrich Bonhoeffer: In the Midst of Wickedness), and Francis Asbury (Francis Asbury: Circuit Rider) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 41-45, you can read about Samuel Zwemer (Samuel Zwemer: The Burden of Arabia), Klaus-Dieter John (Klaus-Dieter John: Hope In the Land Of the Incas), Mildred Cable (Mildred Cable: Through the Jade Gate), John Flynn (John Flynn: Into the Never-Never), and Charles Mulli (Charles Mulli: We Are Family) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

In Christian Heroes: Then & Now gift set 46-50, you can read about Richard Wurmbrand (Richard Wurmbrand: Love Your Enemies), John Newton (John Newton: Change of Heart), Helen Roseveare (Helen Roseveare: Mama Luka), Norman Grubb (Norman Grubb: Mission Builder), and Albert Schweitzer (Albert Schweitzer: Le Grand Docteur) written by Janet and Geoff Benge.

For more buying options, check out Rainbow Resource Center (not an affiliate link).

DK Life Stories

Read about Jane Goodall, Jesse Owens, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Ada Lovelace, Nelson Mandela, Leonardo da Vinci, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Katherine Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II, Gandhi, Alexander Hamilton, and Florence Nightingale in the DK Life Stories series.

For more buying options, check out Rainbow Resource Center (not an affiliate link).

Do Great Things for God*

Read about Corrie ten Boom (Corrie ten Boom: The Courageous Woman and The Secret Room), Betsey Stockton (Betsey Stockton: The Girl With a Missionary Dream), Gladys Aylward (Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman With a Big Dream), and Betty Greene (Betty Greene: The Girl Who Longed to Fly) in the Do Great Things for God series written by Laura Caputo-Wickham.

Food Heroes

Read about Alice Waters (Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious), Roy Choi (Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix), and Will Allen (Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table) in the Food Heroes series written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists

Read about the following artists in this series: Eugene Delacroix, James McNeill Whistler, Henri Rousseau, Camille Pissarro, Alexander Calder, Horace Pippin, Rene Magritte, Dorothea Lange, Titian, Francisco Goya, Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, Giotto, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edward Hopper, Grandma Moses, Raphael, Jacob Lawrence, Paul Gauguin, Marc Chagall, Roy Lichtenstein, Faith Ringgold, El Greco, Pieter Bruegel, Paul Klee, Sandro Boticelli, Diego Rivera, Georges Seurat, Johannes Vermeer, Henri Matisse, Norman Rockwell, Grant Wood, Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rembrandt, Leonardo Da Vinci, Claude Monet, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent Van Gogh.

For more buying options, check out Rainbow Resource Center (not an affiliate link).

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers

Read about the following composers in this series: Frederic Chopin, Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Ludwig Van Beethoven, George Handel, PeterTchaikovsky, John Philip Sousa, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

For more buying options, check out Rainbow Resource Center (not an affiliate link).

Heroes of History for Young Readers*

Read about Meriwether Lewis (Meriwether Lewis: Journey Across America), George Washington Carver (George Washington Carver: America’s Scientist), George Washington (George Washington: America’s Patriot), Daniel Boone (Daniel Boone: Bravery on the Frontier), Louis Zamperini (Louis Zamperini: Survivor and Champion), Laura Ingalls Wilder (Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Little House Life), and Clara Barton (Clara Barton: Courage to Serve) in the Heroes of History for Young Readers series published by YWAM Publishing.

Lightkeepers*

The Lightkeepers Boys Box Set includes the following books:

  • Ten Boys Who Changed the World: Brother Andrew; John Newton; Billy Graham; Eric Liddell; William Carey; David Livingstone; Nicky Cruz; Adoniram Judson; George Muller; and Luis Palau
  • Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents: Wilfred Grenfell; C.S. Lewis; James Clerk Maxwell; Ghillean Prance; Paul Brand; Johann Sebastian Bach; Samuel Morse; George Washington Carver; C.T. Studd; and John Bunyan
  • Ten Boys Who Made History: Samuel Rutherford; John Owen; Jonathan Edwards; George Whitefield; Robert Murray McCheyne; Dwight L. Moody; Billy Sunday; Charles H. Spurgeon; Aiden W. Tozer; and Martyn Lloyd–Jones
  • Ten Boys Who Didn’t Give In: Polycarp; Alban; Sir John Oldcastle; Thomas Cranmer; George Wishart; James Chalmers’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Nate Saint; Ivan Moiseyev; and Graham Staines
  • Ten Boys Who Made a Difference: Augustine of Hippo; Jan Hus; Martin Luther; Ulrich Zwingli; William Tyndale; Hugh Latimer; John Calvin; John Knox; Lord Shaftesbury; and Thomas Chalmers

The Lightkeepers Girls Box Set includes the following books:

  • Ten Girls Who Changed the World: Isobel Kuhn; Mary Slessor; Joni Eareckson; Corrie Ten Boom; Evelyn Brand; Gladys Aylward; Jackie Pullinger; Amy Carmichael; Elizabeth Fry; and Catherine Booth
  • Ten Girls Who Used Their Talents: Anne Lawson; Selina Countess of Huntingdon; Mildred Cable; Katie Ann Mackinnon; Sarah Edwards; Patricia St John; Helen Roseveare; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Mary Verghese; and Maureen McKenna
  • Ten Girls Who Made History: Mary Jane Kinnaird; Emma Dryer; Florence Nightingale; Lottie Moon; Ida Scudder; Jeanette Li; Henrietta Mears; Bessie Adams; Betty Greene; and Elisabeth Elliot
  • Ten Girls Who Didn’t Give In: Blandina; Perpetua; Lady Jane Grey; Anne Askew; Lysken Dirks; Marion Harvey; Margaret Wilson; Judith Weinberg; Betty Stam; and Esther John)
  • Ten Girls Who Made a Difference: (Monica of Thagaste; Katherine Luther; Susanna Wesley; Ann Judson; Maria Taylor; Susannah Spurgeon; Bethan Lloyd–Jones; Edith Schaeffer; Sabina Wurmbrand; and Ruth Bell Graham

Little Lights*

In Little Lights box set 1, you can read about Amy Carmichael (Amy Carmichael: Can brown eyes be made blue?), Hudson Taylor (Hudson Taylor: Could somebody pass the salt?), Corrie ten Boom (Corrie Ten Boom: Are all of the watches safe?), George Muller (George Müller: Does money grow on trees?), and Helen Roseveare (Helen Roseveare: What’s in the parcel?).

In Little Lights box set 2, you can read about David Livingstone (David Livingstone: Who is the bravest?), John Calvin (John Calvin: What is the truth?), Martin Luther (Martin Luther: What should I do?), Eric Liddell (Eric Liddell: Are you ready?), and Mary Slessor (Mary Slessor: What is it like?).

In Little Lights box set 3, you can read about C. S. Lewis (C.S. Lewis: Can you imagine?), Gladys Aylward (Gladys Aylward: Are you going to stop?), Lottie Moon (Lottie Moon: What do you need?), John Knox (John Knox: Who will save you?) and Charles Spurgeon (Charles Spurgeon: Who Is the Greatest?).

On My Own Biographies

Read about Booker T. Washington, Aunt Clara Brown (Aunt Clara Brown: Official Pioneer), Martha Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, Nathan Hale (Nathan Hale: Patriot Spy), Laura Ingalls Wilder, Leif Eriksson, Florence Nightingale, Jackie Robinson, and Pocahontas in this series.

Ordinary People Change the World

In the Ordinary People Change the World series written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, you can read about Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, I. M. Pei, Frida Kahlo, Benjamin Franklin, Anne Frank, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Marie Curie, George Washington, Jane Goodall, Sacagawea, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, and more.

Activities and guides are available for this series here.

The Story of: A Biography Series for New Readers

Read about Thomas Jefferson, Katherine Johnson, Misty Copeland, Benjamin Franklin, Michelle Obama, Eliza Hamilton, Jim Henson, Jackie Robinson, Princess Diana, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, the Wright Brothers, Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alexander Hamilton, Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Fred Rogers, Helen Keller, John Lewis, Gandhi, Kamala Harris, Ruby Bridges, Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Leonardo Da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, Simone Biles, George Washington, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Anne Frank, and Stan Lee in this series for young readers.

Trailblazer Books*

There are forty books available in the Trailblazer Books series. I have not listed them all, but you can see the full list here.

There are curriculum guides (free at this time) available to go along with the following people (and books): Amy Carmichael (The Hidden Jewel: Introducing Amy Carmichael), Harriet Tubman (Listen for the Whippoorwill: Introducing Harriet Tubman), Martin Luther (Spy for the Night Riders: Introducing Martin Luther), Nate Saint (The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee: Introducing Nate Saint), George Müller (The Bandit of Ashley Downs: Introducing George Müller), David Livingstone (Escape from the Slave Traders: Introducing David Livingstone), Florence Nightingale (The Drummer Boy’s Battle: Introducing Florence Nightingale), and Hudson Taylor (Shanghaied to China: Introducing Hudson Taylor).

See the full list of books from the Trailblazer Books series here (not an affiliate link).

Trailblazers*

In Trailblazers box set 1, you can read about the following evangelists and pioneers: Billy Bray (Billy Bray: Saved From the Deepest Pit), Bill Bright (Bill Bright: Dare to be Different), Billy Graham (Billy Graham: Just get up out of your Seat), David Brainerd (David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost), and Joni Eareckson Tada (Joni Eareckson Tada: Swimming Against the Tide).

In Trailblazers box set 2, you can read about the following missionaries and medics: John G. Paton (John G. Paton: South Sea Island Rescue), Amy Carmichael (Amy Carmichael: Rescuer By Night), Adoniram Judson (Adoniram Judson: Danger on the Streets), Hudson Taylor (Hudson Taylor: An Adventure Begins), and Paul Brand (Paul Brand: The Shoes That Love Made).

In Trailblazers box set 3, you can read about the following preachers and teachers: John Stott, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, and Johnathan Edwards.

In Trailblazers box set 4, you can read about the following reformers and activists: John Knox, John Calvin, William Wilberforce, John Welch, and John Newton.

In Trailblazers box set 5, you can read about the following heroes and heroines: Corrie ten Boom, Brother Andrew, Richard Wurmbrand, George Müller, and Eric Lidell.

In Trailblazers box set 6, you can read about the following people in these books about arts and science: Michael Faraday, John Bunyan, Fanny Crosby, C.S. Lewis, and Patricia St. John.

In Trailblazers box set 7, you can read about the following American trailblazers: Jim Elliot, Elisabeth Elliot, Betty Greene, D. L. Moody, and Lottie Moon.

Trailblazers

Read about Lin-Manuel Miranda (Trailblazers: Lin-Manuel Miranda: Raising Theater to New Heights), Amelia Earhart (Trailblazers: Amelia Earhart: First Woman Over the Atlantic), Martin Luther King Jr. (Trailblazers: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Fighting for Civil Rights), J.K. Rowling (Trailblazers: J.K. Rowling: Behind the Magic), Stephen Hawking (Trailblazers: Stephen Hawking: A Life Beyond Limits), Simone Biles (Trailblazers: Simone Biles: Golden Girl of Gymnastics), Albert Einstein (Trailblazers: Albert Einstein: The Greatest Mind in Physics), Beyoncé (Trailblazers: Beyoncé: Queen of the Spotlight), Neil Armstrong (Trailblazers: Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon), Jackie Robinson (Trailblazers: Jackie Robinson: Breaking Barriers in Baseball), Harriet Tubman (Trailblazers: Harriet Tubman: A Journey to Freedom), and Jane Goodall (Trailblazers: Jane Goodall: A Life with Chimps) in this Trailblazers series.

Who Was/ Who Is

I included pictures for 48 books from the Who Was? series, but there are over 200 titles available. You can see the list of titles here on the Penguin Random House website.

There is also a What is the Story of? series (found here) and a What Was? series (found here) and a Where Is? series (found here) that offer even more information about a variety of topics and places.

I searched for a while but have had trouble finding box sets for the Who Was? series. The only box set I found on Amazon is this What Is? America box set, which includes the following twenty-five books (with a mixture of books from the Who Was? series, Where Is? series, and What Was? series).

1. What Was the First Thanksgiving?
2. What Was the Boston Tea Party?
3. Who Was George Washington?
4. What Is the Declaration of Independence?
5. What Is the Constitution?
6. Where Is the White House?
7. What Is the Statue of Liberty?
8. What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition?
9. What Was the Underground Railroad?
10. Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
11. What Was the Battle of Gettysburg?
12. Who Was Sojourner Truth?
13. Who Was Sitting Bull?
14. What Was the Wild West?
15. Where Is the Grand Canyon?
16. Where Is Mount Rushmore?
17. Who Was Amelia Earhart?
18. What Was the Great Depression?
19. Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt?
20. What Was Pearl Harbor?
21. What Was the March on Washington?
22. Who Was Neil Armstrong?
23. Who Was Cesar Chavez?
24. What Is the Women’s Rights Movement?
25. What Were the Twin Towers?

Obviously, I did not include individual links for all of the books in this series, but I hope the links and pictures I did provide help guide you in the right direction if you want more information about them.

Please share any other recommendations for book biography series in the comments below.

Being an Author · Ramblings

20+ Book Ideas You Can Use for Your Next Book

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

I’ve come up with ideas for books while listening to my daughters, reading articles, watching TV, going for walks, talking to others, and on and on it goes.

Book ideas are literally all around us!

The idea for my book Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles began in my garden while picking cucumbers to make pickles. The book Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure, which I created with one of my daughters, started at a writer meeting I attended years ago.

Awesome Idea Syndrome

I don’t have any problem coming up with ideas for books. No, I’ve got lots of ideas! My problem is Awesome Idea Syndrome.

Even though Awesome Idea Syndrome is a term I made up and diagnosed myself with, I’m sure I am not the only writer to suffer from it.

The main symptom of Awesome Idea Syndrome is I am content working on a manuscript until . . . (insert page turn here) I see or hear something that I think would make an interesting book. Then, I get so excited about that idea that I start working on a new manuscript until . . . (next page turn) another idea comes to me.

And on and on it goes. (As a side note, the ideas aren’t always “awesome,” but it sometimes takes me a while to figure that out.)

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

I have suffered from Awesome Idea Syndrome for quite a while now. (I have a bin full of partially finished manuscripts to prove it.)

Thankfully, I have found a remedy that has helped me cope with Awesome Idea Syndrome. It’s my “Idea Box.”

I created my “Idea Box” last year with an old shoe box, some decorative card stock, glue, tape, and scissors. It’s not a complete antidote, but it has helped significantly reduce the complications of Awesome Idea Syndrome.

Now, whenever I have a new idea for a book, I write that idea on a library checkout card. Sometimes, I add additional notes to the card, but I limit the amount of time I spend on the new idea. Then, I insert the card into my idea box.

Of course, I could use pieces of paper, but I like the fact that library checkout cards relate to books (and I had been given over 100 of them for free, so I had them on hand already).

Too Many Ideas

There are definitely benefits to having an idea box. I haven’t started numerous random manuscripts over the past year. I have actually finished more writing projects. And I can see how “unawesome” some ideas are after having them sit for a while. (As another side note, idea journals are also helpful!)

A con to my idea box, though, is that I now have a box full of random ideas. Too many ideas for me to ever use in my lifetime!

So, just like I sort through and donate items in my home I no longer want, I have recently sorted through my idea box. And I am “donating” the ideas I no longer want to you.

You are welcome to use any of the following ideas in your next book project. Please keep in mind, I have not researched these ideas any further than what is listed below. As a result . . .

  • . . . they may not actually be awesome.
  • . . . they may have already been written about before. (But maybe they could be written in a new format/genre or from a different angle.)
  • . . . they may not be 100 percent accurate.
  • . . . they may not end with a book deal.
  • . . . they may or may not make sense.

And now, without further ado, here are 20+ book ideas you can use in your next book.

Nonfiction Book Ideas

  • Engineering design process compared to the writing process
  • Inventions or other things commonly thought to be created by someone or some place that didn’t actually create it first
    • Noodles were invented in China (not Italy or some other place)
    • Fortune cookies were invented in California (not China)
  • The year of 2 Thanksgivings
    • Canada and USA have two different dates for Thanksgiving
    • Grandpa could tell a story of when the USA had two Thanksgivings (1939)
  • Walter Hunt
    • Inventor
    • He owed a man money, so he created the safety pin (which he called a “dress pin”) and sold the rights to it for $400
  • Parachuting beavers
  • “Tom Thumb”
    • Possible legend?
    • Steam powered engine lost a race to a horse drawn train
  • Molasses disaster in Boston
  • Ship disasters that killed more passengers than Titanic
    • Wilhelm Gustloff and Lusitania
    • Historical fiction book: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Books, 2017)
  • Peshtigo, WI fire vs Chicago, IL fire
    • Took place at the same time
    • More people killed in Peshtigo fire than Chicago fire
  • Invention of bubble wrap
    • 1957 Alfred Fielding and Mac Chavannes
    • “Trying to create a textured wallpaper”
    • Started with two pieces of plastic shower curtain
    • “Accidental invention”
  • “Accidental inventions”
  • History of the can opener and food in cans
    • Canned foods were invented 48 years before the can opener?
  • Bob Ross
    • American painter
  • Jesse Owens
    • American athlete
    • Won 4 gold medals in 1936 Olympics (shortly before WW2)
  • Ann Adams
    • Had polio
    • Learned how to draw pictures by using a pencil in her mouth
  • Duck, sheep, rooster first to travel in hot air balloon
  • When Alaska was purchased and the calendar changed (1867)
  • Odd true animal stories
    • Parachuting beavers
    • First hot air balloon ride
    • “Operation Cat Drop”
    • Dogs trained as parachutists
    • 1962 bear ejected at supersonic speed
  • Nubs the marine dog
  • Stumpton, IA
    • Town no longer exists, instead landfill
    • Across the river was a meat packing plant (called Sinclair Packing House) that is now gone
    • Sewage treatment plant build in 1936

Educational Fiction Idea

  • Wizard of Oz fractured story
    • Takes place entirely underwater
    • Good witch could be angel fish
    • Dorothy could be Dorothia the mermaid
    • Toto could be Tortellini the dolphin (or spiny dogfish)
    • Tornado could be a whirlpool (maelstrom)
    • Yellow brick road could be yellow coral and/or yellow kelp
    • Monkeys could be flying fish
    • Sea stars and jellyfish have no heart or brain
    • Octopus have more than one heart
    • Heart reef – Great Barrier Reef
    • Two creatures with symbiotic relationships
    • Brain coral
    • Lion fish
    • Teach about underwater creatures and habitats (without feeling like being taught)

Fiction Ideas

  • Monsters telling campfire stories to each other about kids
  • First hair cut
    • Child’s hair grows just like he is growing
    • “snip, snip,” “clip, clip,” “buzz, buzz”
    • Feels like flying in chair – (going up and down)
    • Wearing a cloak so equates self to a super hero

Finished Manuscript

It’s amazing to me how one idea can be written in so many different ways. Different characters, different genres, different writing styles, different POVs, and the list goes on. That’s the reason ideas aren’t copyrighted but your actual stories are. I’d love to see your story if you use one of these ideas!

If you do complete a manuscript and are interested in publishing it, you will have to choose which publishing option you would like to pursue. (If you are confused about the different publishing options, make sure to check out the course Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book: Traditional Publishing, Hybrid Publishing, or Self-Publishing?)

Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book

The following resources may be helpful for you if you choose to try the traditional publishing route.

And here are a couple of resources if you choose to self-publish.

I still have more ideas in my idea box than I will ever use, but I’m not ready to pass them on just yet. Maybe I’ll get around to writing at least a few of them someday.

What About You?

Do you suffer from Awesome Idea Syndrome? If so, maybe this list wasn’t what you needed right now. Have you found anything that has helped you stay focused on your current writing project?

Will any of these ideas make it into one of your future manuscripts? I’d love to hear from you!

Being an Author · Courses · Ramblings

Learn Ways to Promote and Market Your Book (That Don’t Include Paid Advertisements or Social Media)

Are you preparing to launch your book into the world? Or have you recently launched your book?

If so, then congratulations!!! Creating and launching a book is a big accomplishment.

I’m sure you have put in a lot of time and energy to get this far. Unfortunately, simply releasing a book into the world will not result in people rushing to buy it.

So, what can an author do to help get their book into the hands of more readers?

Well, that is a great question! There are many authors who use social media and paid advertisements to sell books. But there are also quite a few other ways authors can market and promote their books.

And you can now learn more about those ways in a course I recently created called Book Promotion and Marketing for Self-Published Authors: Ways to Promote and Market Your Book Without Social Media.

Many resources provide information on using paid advertisements or social media to promote and market books, so I decided to create a course that does not include those options.

I’m not saying authors shouldn’t use paid advertisements or social media. Those work great for many authors and are viable options. I simply wanted to provide alternative options for authors to be aware of as they try to reach more readers.

So, Book Promotion and Marketing for Self-Published Authors: Ways to Promote and Market Your Book Without Social Media focuses on ways authors (or future authors) can promote and market their books in inexpensive and even free ways that do not include paid advertisements or social media. (A free Udemy account is required to take the course.)

This course is divided into a total of 23 videos including the introduction and conclusion. Each video is presented with a slide show presentation as well as a downloadable transcript for the convenience of the students. Handouts are also included with many videos to provide additional resources and information to help guide students with their own promotion and marketing journeys.

Taking this course does not guarantee you will sell thousands (or even hundreds) of copies of your book, but it will give you plenty of ideas that may help you get your book into the hands of more readers.

Before deciding if this course is right for you, please check out what is and what is not covered within this course below. You are also welcome to watch the course video, introduction, and the video about the realities of self-publishing before choosing if this is the right course for you over on Udemy.

To your publishing, promotion, and marketing success!

You can register for the course here.

Who This Course is For:

Authors/Writers with no previous publishing experience who want to learn about promoting and marketing books

Beginner self-published authors looking for ways to promote and market their book(s)

Beginner authors who have published through or who plan to publish through KDP Print or IngramSpark (Not Required)

Unpublished authors who plan to self-publish and are interested in learning ways to promote and market their future book(s)

Who This Course is Not For:

Anyone looking for a get rich quick plan

Anyone wanting information about paid advertisements

Anyone looking for in-depth information on using social media for book promotion

You can register for the course here.

What is Not Covered:

Paid Advertisements, Amazon ads, or Social media ads

In-depth explanation of social media

What is Covered:

Section 1: Introduction

Lecture 1: Introduction

Reiterate the information found in the course description such as who the instructor is, what students will learn by the end of this course, who this course is for and who this course is not for, what is needed to complete this course, and an overview of what this course contains

Lecture 2: Realities of Self-Publishing

A few statistics on self-publishing and book sales and what this means for you

Transcript included

Lecture 3: Finding Your Why and Setting Goals

Questions for you to consider as you determine your “why” and set your own goals

Transcript and Assignment included

(Additional Note: Much of the information included within this video was discussed in the course Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book: Traditional Publishing, Hybrid Publishing, or Self-Publishing? The included assignment is new for this course.)

Lecture 4: Marketing and Promotion

Brief explanation of marketing and promotion

List of the 5 Ps of marketing

Considerations before publishing a book

Considerations while marketing and promoting a book

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Section 2: People

Lecture 5: Target Audience

Explanation of a target audience

Questions to consider when determining a target audience

Transcript and Assignment included

Lecture 6: Reviews and Influencers

How some authors get book reviews

Possible places for readers to leave reviews

Questions to consider when reaching out to reviewers

Brief description of influencers

Transcript, Additional Resources Handout, and Reviewer Questions to Consider Handout included

Lecture 7: Awards

List of possible benefits of book awards

Possible places to find award opportunities

Considerations when choosing to submit your book for an award

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Section 3: Product

Lecture 8: Book Covers

Book cover tips and questions to consider

Parts to include on book covers with examples

Mention of a resource to possibly use to display book covers for promotional purposes

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

(Additional Note: Quite a bit of the information in this video was discussed in the course Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider Before Publishing Your Book in Print)

Lecture 9: Interior Considerations

Overview of front matter and possible sections to include

Overview of body and possible sections to include

Overview of back matter and possible sections to include

List of additional interior considerations

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

(Additional Note: Quite a bit of the information in this video was discussed in the course Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider Before Publishing Your Book in Print)

Section 4: Price

Lecture 10: Considerations When Choosing a Price

Questions to consider when choosing a price

One possible pricing technique some authors use

Brief overview of KDP Select

Possible ways to add value to your book (and potentially your brand)

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

(Additional Note: Quite a bit of the information in this video was discussed in the course Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider Before Publishing Your Book in Print)

Lecture 11: Metadata

Brief explanation of metadata

Explanation of keywords

Book title considerations

Tips for writing a book description

Tips for choosing book categories

Questions to consider when choosing a publication date

An overview of free vs paid ISBNs

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

(Additional Note: Quite a bit of information in this video was discussed in the course Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider Before Publishing Your Book in Print)

Section 5: Place

Lecture 12: Selling Online

Brief explanation of expanded distribution through KDP Print and IngramSpark

List of possible online retailers for print books

Brief list of distributors for print books

List of possible ways to distribute ebooks

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 13: Selling Offline Overview

List of possible offline locations to sell physical books (not just in book stores!)

Explanation of 3 possible book delivery options to those offline locations

How to order author copies through KDP Print and IngramSpark

Considerations when ordering author copies to send them to offline locations

Transcript included

Lecture 14: Selling Offline Part 2

Considerations for selling to offline retailers

Considerations for contacting offline retailers by email

Considerations for contacting offline retailers in person

A brief explanation for and considerations for selling on consignment in stores

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 15: Selling Offline Part 3

Tips for author business cards

Explanation of sell sheets (also known as sales sheets) with a sample

Explanation of what to do when receiving an order for books

Explanation of an order form with a sample

Explanation of an invoice with a sample

Explanation of a book catalog

A couple of examples of why having a website with contact information available is very important

Explanation of what the instructor does when someone reaches out requesting to purchase a large number of books

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Section 6: Promotion

Lecture 16: Book Launch Overview

Explanation of what a book launch is

List of reasons to have a book launch

List of possible places to have a book launch party in person

List of possible places to have a book launch party virtually

List of possible people to invite to a book launch party

List of possible activities to do at a book launch party

List of things to bring to a book launch party

Considerations when choosing a time to have a book launch party

Considerations for the cost of a book launch party

List of what to do after a book launch party

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 17: Author Website

List of reasons to have an author website

List of possible website platforms

Explanation of wordpress.com vs wordpress.org

List of possible hosting providers

Tips for choosing a domain name

List of pages to (possibly) include on an author website

Information about an About Page

Overview of email lists

List of possible email marketing providers

List of possible legal considerations for websites

Additional author website tips

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 18: Offering Freebies

List of reasons to offer freebies

List of possible freebies to offer

Additional tips for freebies

Transcript included

Lecture 19: Presentations and Storytimes

List of possible places to speak

Tips for speaking engagements and presentations

Considerations for speaking fees

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 20: Free Publicity Part 1

Tips for using themed festivals to promote your book

Tips for getting interviews

Possible places to be interviewed

What to do before, during, and after an interview

A brief explanation of HARO

An additional resource for free PR

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 21: Free Publicity Part 2

Brief overview of Goodreads

Overview of an Amazon Author Page

Overview of Guest Blogging

Overview of Google Alerts

List of other possible free promotion ideas

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Lecture 22: More Promotion Ideas

Overview of social media with some tips

Tips for using Pinterest

A list of a few additional promotional ideas

Transcript and Additional Resources Handout included

Section 7: Conclusion

Lecture 23: Conclusion

Congratulations!!!

Please remember…

Transcript included

You can register for the course here. (And if you still aren’t sure if it is right for you, click here to watch the sample videos.)