Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm Ed.D.One of the series "Nonfiction: Writing for Fact and Argument," this beautifully designed and informative book begins with a history of the genre. Early biographies that recounted the lives of ancient Greeks and Romans were followed by stories of saints, whose lives were presented as absolutely saintly with no warts. Samuel Johnson, "the father of modern biography," believed writing about the lives of both well known and unknown people should present the truth, but the Victorian age brought a return to candy-coated details of the subjects, a practice denigrated by H. G.Wells as biographies filled with the sins of omission. Biography today tells "true stories about real people" (p. 6) and, although a biographer does not have to invent characters, "it is your job to bring them to life" (p. 29). This book provides critical information about the biographical process, such as differentiating between primary and secondary sources. Courier (typewriter) font for main text; glossary words boxed off in green. Excerpts from biographies and specific examples enhance the text (e.g., how "show, don't tell" applies to biography as well as fiction). Glossy paper, black and white and color illustrations. Highly recommended as a text for the process of understanding and writing biography and autobiography. Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ed.D.
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