Bob Switzer, inventor
May 19, 1914-Aug. 20, 1997
The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani (Charlesbridge, 2008)
A Sibert Informational Honor book, this bio about the brothers who invented eye-popping colors shines light on an innovative and important addition to our world.
Day-Glo worms? View “A Primer on Marine Flatworms for K-12 Students” at the University of New Hampshire site and you’ll be a believer.
Erik Satie, musician
May 17, 1866-July 1, 1925
Strange Mr. Satie by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Petra Mathers (Viking, 2003)
The eccentric French composer’s life and music is examined in this picture book biography about him.
A photo and biography of Satie can be seen here.
Joe Louis, boxer
May 13, 1914-April 12, 1981
A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Dial, 2011)
An iconic fight between American heavyweight boxer Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling on the eve of WWII drew Americans together and came to symbolize the war. This is a stirring story of hope.
The Official Web Site of Joe Louis gives visitors photos, quotes, fast facts and a biography.
Ritchie Valens, musician
May 13, 1941-February 3, 1959
Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)
Valens was the California music sensation and singer of Donna and La Bamba. He was the first Mexican-American rock and roll star. Unfortunately he died in a small plane crash along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.
Go to the Ritchie Valens Official Web Site for information on his life, his music and his family.
Florence Nightingale, nurse
May 12, 1820-Aug. 13, 1910
A Picture Book of Florence Nightingale by David A. Adler, illustrated by John Wallner and Alexandra Wallner (Holiday House, 1997)
Nurse extraordinaire, Nightingale changed her profession for the better and served with compassionate care.
Read a bio of Nightingale at the The Florence Nightingale Museum in the UK.