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UW-Eau Claire instructor's new book highlights biographies to read aloud

April 11, 2014
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Rob Reid's "Biographies to Read Aloud with Kids: From Alvin Ailey to Zishe the Strongman."

EAU CLAIRE —Rob Reid, senior lecturer of education studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has written a new book that highlights biographies of fascinating people who are not always included in school history textbooks.

Reid's "Biographies to Read Aloud with Kids: From Alvin Ailey to Zishe the Strongman" contains profiles of 200 biographies written for children. The individuals featured in the book are fairly evenly split between males and females, with a strong representation of people of color and those with disabilities.

"This was a fun project to work on," Reid said. "I read about 500 biographies to reach the 200 books listed in my book, and I found many inspirational stories along the way — so much so that I am ready to compete on 'Jeopardy!'"

Following is a sampling of the individuals featured in Reid's book: Temple Grandin, a leading expert on humane treatment of animals who is convinced her autism helped shape who she is; Robert Smalls, a slave who piloted a boat of many other slaves to freedom right under the nose of three Confederate forts and later was elected to the U.S. Congress; Ira Hayes, an American Indian who joined the Marines and was one of the men planting the flag on Iwo Jima for the iconic photo and who later was buried in Arlington National Cemetery; and Margaret and H.A. Rey, two German artists/writers who fled the Nazi invasion on bikes with their manuscript of "The Adventures of Fifi." When they made it safely to America, they published the book as "Curious George."

Reid holds a bachelor's degree in English education/speech-theater and a master's degree in library science. He has expertise in children's literature and music, storytelling and motivating children to read.

"Biographies to Read Aloud" — Reid's 17th book — was published by Huron Street Press, an imprint of the American Library Association. It is the second book in a series, following "Silly Books to Read Aloud," published in 2013. Reid currently is writing the third book in the series, "Animal Stories to Read Aloud with Kids," with an expected publication date of 2015.

For more information about the book or series, contact Rob Reid at reidra@uwec.edu or 715-836-5015.

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