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Books About Kathleen Krull A wealth of fun learning activities Explore these links! Email Kathleen Krull How to order books by Kathleen Krull

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The Lives of Series has been very popular with teachers, librarians and students of all ages. To add to your enjoyment you will find links for every individual, suggested activities, book reviews, awards and a smattering of games and trivia quizzes. Have fun exploring! And watch for LIVES OF THE EXPLORERS in 2014!

Presidents  Artists   Athletes  Writers  Musicians

NEW - Discussion & Activity Guide to all 8 LIVES books, all aligned with the appropriate Common Core Standards by the illustrious writer and librarian Edward T. Sullivan

Lives of the Scientists
“Yes! Krull and Hewitt are back with another of those books, the eighth entry in their delightful Lives of . . . series. This time around, readers meet twenty scientists in eighteen compact entries (William and Caroline Herschel, James Watson and Francis Crick appear as teams)….Readers charmed by the gossipy style will transition easily to Krull’s longer works in the Giants of Science series.”

“Even with the brevity of each biography, the authors manage to paint an honest and multidimensional portrait of each individual….This collective biography is perfectly suited to thematic research as well as to reading for pleasure.”

“The anecdotes that are provided humanize these larger-than-life individuals by revealing some of their mistakes and quirky characteristics. Particularly impressive is the author's inclusion of several women and scientists representing cultures other than her own. See her piece on "The Common Core: Showing Nonfiction the Love" on the Engage blog.
--IRA Reading Today

“Mightily entertaining.” --Kirkus

“Another wonderful addition to the series, detailing common knowledge and little-known facts about historical figures…. A strong point of this volume is the inclusion of some important women (Barbara McClintock and Grace Murray Hopper, for example) who aren’t often mentioned in biographies of this type.”
--School Library Journal

Read an excerpt

“In her characteristic lively prose, the author offers profiles of 20 scientists (including two teams), from Chinese astronomer Zhang Heng (born 78 AD) to English ethnologist Jane Goodall (born 1934)….A great read-aloud choice, that is sure to send readers to the biography shelves.”
--School Library Journal

Unpacking the Power of Picture Books


Lives of the Pirates
Lives of the PiratesEureka! Silver Honor Book, 2010 (California Reading Association’s Nonfiction Children’s Book Award)

Junior Library Guild Selection

“Based on a tantalizing mix of hard facts and credible rumors, Kathleen Krull's book contains 20 brief biographies of pirates arranged chronologically….Krull vividly presents these swashbucklers and scoundrels, and their dramatic stories will excite the imaginations of listeners. A solid choice for school and public libraries.”  --School Library Journal

“Riveting reading!” --

Best Books on the History of Pirates

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

BCS Kids

Translate anything into Pirate English

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19


Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Not all governments have been run by men. Lives of Extraordinary Women turns the spotlight on women who have wielded power, revealing their feats—and flaws—for all the world to see.  Here you'll find twenty of the most influential women in history: queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, revolutionary leaders. Some are revered. Others are notorious. What were they really like? What did they do for fun? Did their neighbors gossip about them? What were their tragedies and their triumphs?
   In this grand addition to their highly praised series, Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt celebrate some of the world's most noteworthy women--rulers and rebels who refused to stay in the wings and let others run the show. Wild or mild, hated or beloved, each of these women dared to stand up and be a leader.

Introduction  Links to Women   Cleopatra Activities   More Activities    Reviews  Trivia Quiz

Newly revised for 2011

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of PresidentsThe President of the United States has always been in the public eye--but do we know these men as well as we think we do? What were they like as fathers, husbands, and neighbors? What did they do for fun, what were their favorite foods, and how did they take care of their hair? Other books focus on the historical achievements of those who have occupied our country's highest office--Lives of the Presidents looks instead at their bad habits, silly nicknames, and strange pets, examining their high points, low points, and times in between. Even the most avid presidential buff may make new discoveries, and those who think the presidents are dull are sure to find some surprises.

“The entertaining gossipy style remains unaltered….It is the new information on our most recent presidents (learning, for instance, that President Obama has read all seven Harry Potter novels with his girls) that makes this worthwhile.”
--Horn Book

“The author's combination of concisely presented facts and fascinating anecdotes remains inviting and informative, as she delves beyond each leader's public persona to show him as a regular human being. For example, Bush got into trouble in the fourth grade for "inking sideburns, a beard, and a mustache on his face," and Obama was brought "back to earth" after winning the Nobel Peace Prize by his daughters, who told him that "the day of the announcement was also the birthday of their Portuguese water dog, Bo, not to mention the start of a three-day weekend….Containing enough information to fuel short reports and satisfy history buffs, this book also makes an entertaining classroom read-aloud.”
--School Library Journal

Introduction  Cast of Characters   Reviews & Awards   Activities, Games & Trivia George W. Bush

Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Babe Ruth was the worlds greatest slugger—and off the field snacked on pickled eels and chocolate ice cream. Johnny Weissmuller swam to Olympic fame—and on land practiced the Tarzan yell. Babe Didrikson Zaharias won eighty-two golf tournaments—and when she beat a man, she gloated, “And me just a little old gal!”
Almost everybody can reel off stats about a famous athlete, but few fans know the person behind the trophies and medals. Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (and What the Neighbors Thought) tells more than just the physical achievements of twenty groundbreaking athletes. What did they like to eat, to drink, to wear? What childhood games did they play? How did they handle fame and fortune? Avid fans and sports phobics alike will relish this collection of fears, habits, quirks, and what the neighbors found to gossip about.

Introduction   Cast of Characters    Reviews & Awards   Links & Activities

Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of ArtistsMost people can name some famous artists and recognize their best-known works. But what's behind all that painting, drawing, and sculpting? What was Leonardo da Vinci’s snack of choice while he painted Mona Lisa's mysterious smile? Why did Georgia O’Keeffe find bones so appealing? Who called Diego Rivera “Frog-Face”? And what is it about artists that makes both their work and their lives so fascinating—to themselves, to their curious neighbors, and to all of us?
   Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) presents the humor and the tragedy in twenty artists’ lives as no biography has done before. Kathleen Krull’s scrupulously researched text strikes a warm and chatty tone, offering juicy tidbits along with the basic facts. Kathryn Hewitt’s full-color illustrations reveal everything from laugh lines to fashion sense, as well as visual clues to some of the artists’ trademark styles and famous works.
   Come along on this fly-on-the-wall tour, across centuries and continents, and discover why the neighbors of the world's greatest artists have had so much to whisper about.
   Follow the artists' links on the Cast of Characters page to SEE the artwork!

Introduction   Links to Artists   Reviews & Awards   Activities & More Links

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of the WritersShakespeare wrote with a feather quill and ink; Emily Dickinson wrote with a fountain pen; Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote on a Yiddish typewriter. But what did such writers do when they weren't writing? What did Jane Austen eat for breakfast? What could make Mark Twain throw his shirts out the window? Why would Zora Neale Hurston punch a fellow elevator passenger? Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) tells all that and more, including plenty about writing, how these writers viewed the world of literature—and how their neighbors viewed them.
   In this companion to the highly praised Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought), Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt offer the inside scoop on twenty literary luminaries. Even famous writers are real people with odd habits, secret hopes, dismal failure, and wild successes; Lives of the Writers reveals it all with wit and style.

“I think Lives of the Writers is AMAZING.” --Review by a 6th-grader at Book Trends

Introduction  Links to Writers   Awards & Reviews   Activities & More Links

Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of Musicians On the 20th anniversary of publication
It's no secret that Beethoven went deaf, that Mozart had constant money problems, and that Gilbert and Sullivan wrote musicals. But what were these people—and other famous musicians—really like? What did they eat? What did they wear? How did they spend their time? What were they like as children? What were their phobias, obsessions, and bad habits? And what did their neighbors think of it all?
   Here are the fascinating and often humorous stories of twenty famous musicians—people of all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and lifestyles, from various countries and historical periods, beginning with Vivaldi and ending with Woody Guthrie. Accompanied by brilliant caricatures, Lives of the Musicians will appeal to those who love music, to those who like to hear the story behind a famous name, and to just about everyone else.
  Follow the musicians' links on the Cast of Characters page to HEAR the music!

“While highly enjoyable, the series is also especially useful for students who benefit from short chunks of text and the support of pictures.” --Kathleen Odean's Great Common Core Nonfiction

Introduction   Links to Musicians   Reviews & Awards    Activities & More Links

Please visit Audio Bookshelf to order audiobooks or CD’s for Scientists, Women, Presidents, Musicians, Writers, Artists, and Pirates.

All written by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt, and published by Harcourt
All “Lives of” artwork copyright © by Kathryn Hewitt.  Published by Harcourt, Inc. and reproduced with permission.  All rights reserved.

LIVES OF THE EXPLORERS - coming in 2014

Other Biographies    Other Books    Oldies but Goodies