Biographies for Young Readers is a series of books intended for middle-grade readers age eight and up.

The press is looking for life stories of exceptional individuals—especially those who may have been overlooked in mainstream biographies—written in a fresh narrative style. For example, the first book in the series, Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek by Michelle Houts, traces the life and career of a pioneer in women’s professional sports. The second, by Julie Rubini, tells the story of Nancy Drew writer Mildred Benson, the first of several who wrote under the pen name Carolyn Keene. The third, by Nancy Roe Pimm, introduces Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world.

The Biographies for Young Readers series was born out of a desire to introduce children to interesting and exciting figures from both past and present and to instill a love of reading from an early age. The series also reflects the growing interest among librarians and parents in biographies and other fact-based works for school-age children, as well as the emphasis on literary nonfiction established by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

Potential authors wishing to submit a proposal should send the following to acquisitions editor Ricky S. Huard at huard@ohio.edu:

  • a brief cover letter introducing yourself and the proposed subject
  • an outline of the book
  • a sample opening chapter

Please include the cover letter in the body of the e-mail and attach the outline and sample chapter as Microsoft Word documents. The full manuscript should be 15,000 to 20,000 words with 30 to 60 photo illustrations related to the subject of the biography and the historical context. The finished books are 100–125 pages in length.


Editors

Michelle Houts

Virginia Hamilton

America’s Storyteller

By Julie K. Rubini

In Virginia Hamilton, Julie K. Rubini brings us the biography of one of the most honored authors of children’s literature in the twentieth century. The most expansive biography of Hamilton published for young readers, it was vetted for accuracy by Hamilton’s husband, poet Arnold Adoff. It is the fourth installment in the Biographies for Young Readers series, which is quickly building a reputation for substantive and engaging treatments of its diverse subjects.

The Jerrie Mock Story

The First Woman to Fly Solo around the World

By Nancy Roe Pimm

In the third installment of our series Biographies for Young Readers, Nancy Roe Pimm gives us the life of Jerrie Mock, who in 1964 became the first woman to fly solo around the world. Mock, born in Newark, Ohio, received little attention for her feat, despite accomplishing what her childhood heroine Amelia Earhart died trying. Meticulously researched, Mock’s story as presented by Pimm is engaging, accessible, and packed with inspiration for middle-grade readers aspiring to adventure.

Missing Millie Benson

The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist

By Julie K. Rubini

Growing up in Ladora, Iowa, Mildred “Millie” Benson had ample time to develop her imagination, sense of adventure, and independence. Millie left her small hometown to attend the University of Iowa, where she became the first person to earn a master’s degree from the school of journalism. While still a graduate student, Millie began writing for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which published the phenomenally popular Hardy Boys series, among many others.

Kammie on First

Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek

By Michelle Houts

Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level. The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players.