Booktalk for EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE by Michael Hearst

extraordinary peopleHere are fifty short biographies of people who have done unusual things—or had unusual things happen to them:

A film actor who could do push-ups with two fingers.

A daredevil who broke more than 400 bones in his body.

And a man who lost his luggage and spent the next seventeen years living in an airport.

All true stories.

Genre: nonfiction / biography

Grades 5-8.

Anna’s take on it:

The best part of booktalking this title is the class-wide gasp when I say, “He spent the next seventeen years living in an airport.” Some of the kids recognize the description of Bruce Lee or Evel Knievel, but most are not familiar with the story of Sir, Alfred Mehran. I like to emphasize at the end that these are all true stories.

I often get kids coming up afterward to look at the book and try to find out what happened to the guy’s luggage and how he could have lived at the airport for so long. They engage quickly with the bright illustrations and entertaining text.