“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish,
therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and
write.” President John Adams
Reading is foundational for all learning. By helping students foster a love for reading, we are helping them acquire language, critical thinking skills and healthy imaginations. These foundational skills are some of the major components needed to be an accomplished reader, writer and speaker later in life.
However, reading just any book doesn’t always offer the greatest value. You are what you read. Conversely, there is great value in reading biographies of heroes with high standards of character and a worldview at least relatively consistent with Christian thinking. If one wishes to excel in life, there is no better place to find inspiration than in the lives of those who have changed our world and lives for the better.
People who write biographies and autobiographies often have an interesting story to tell about trials and tribulations. Every life has a beginning, middle and end, and how one has lived it should be of great interest to those who are still at the beginning.
To encourage students along this path, I listed significant historical figures (see below) for students to choose from in order to read a biography and complete a book report. While no one person on this list was a perfect individual, none the less they strove for goodness and fought for God honoring causes.
A full overview of requirements and characters to read about can be found on this document.
Christopher P. DeSanctis