Biographies bring readers into interesting people's lives

Prescott Library patrons love biographies, and we are fortunate to have thousands of biography titles in a variety of media available for patrons through the Yavapai Library Network. At its best, a biography is an engaging account of an individual's life, touches on universal themes and sheds light on significant events and time periods. While readers often think of biographies of celebrities, presidents and other well-known figures, biographies of the lesser-known can be equally riveting. Pick one up the next time you visit the library.

"Breaking Night" by Liz Murray, 2010. Born with drugs in her system and raised by drug-addicted parents in the Bronx, Liz Murray became homeless shortly after her 15th birthday. When she turned 29, Liz graduated from Harvard. Learn how Liz triumphantly chose to break the cycles of addiction and poverty that surrounded her by embracing forgiveness, true friendships and personal responsibility. Liz currently directs her own company, Manifest Living, which provides workshops for adults on achieving personal and professional goals.-Katy Willis

"Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot" by Anita Silvey, 2010. Grades 2-6. Henry Knox is less famous than contemporaries Paul Revere and Patrick Henry, but his story is fascinating. Knox started life as an ordinary Boston boy who loved books, engineering, and all things military. He was a bookseller in his mid-20s when the Revolutionary War broke out, and he played a key role in the conflict by finding a way to get cannons for the Continental Army. Illustrated with handsome paintings by Wendell Minor, this concise biography introduces a little-known hero to a new generation of readers.-Amadee Ricketts

"To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West" by Mark Lee Gardner, 2010. This dual biography details the lives of two men whose fates are forever welded together in history. There is very little speculation in this exciting work, and it reads as well as any action-packed Western fiction. The principles and fringe characters are described fully, and leave the reader fulfilled and satisfied. Thoroughly engrossing from beginning to end, "To Hell on a Fast Horse" relentlessly informs, entertains, jars and surprises.-Russell Miller

"Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers, 2009. Syrian immigrant Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his American wife owned a thriving construction business in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Zeitoun's wife and children evacuated the city, but Zeiton stayed to protect his home. He traveled by canoe to check on his properties and tenants, and along the way aided numerous trapped residents and animals. He and his family were able to maintain contact for several days, but on Sept. 6, Zeitoun was arrested and communication was suddenly cut off. This is a compelling account of the effects of the storm on the citizens of New Orleans, the humanity of its residents and ultimately the travesty of justice in the days following Katrina.-Julie Pavri

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