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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

Middle Years Reading

Source: Digital montage by S Black.

The Autobiographies and Biographies collection is located in the Kerferd Library special collections. Look for the books that have the red silhouetted figure icon on the spine with the word "Biography".

Click on the book cover or title in the gallery at the bottom of this page to borrow from the Autobiographies and Biographies collection, or use the following link to browse the Autobiographies and Biographies collection in the library.

Autobiographies and Biographies in the Kerferd Library | Click on the book cover to borrow via the catalogue.

Forgotten women : the writers

The Writers celebrates 48 unsung genius female writers from throughout history and across the world. Including writers from across a wide spectrum of disciplines including poets, journalists, novelists, essayists and diarists, this is an alternative history of literature that will surprise, empower, and leave you with a reading list a mile long.

Forgotten women : the artists

The Artists brings together the stories of 48 brilliant woman artists who made huge yet unacknowledged contributions to the history of art. With chapters ranging from Figurative to Photography, and Craft to Conceptual, this is an alternative guide to art history that demonstrates the broad range of artistic movements that included, and were often pioneered by, female artists who have been largely overlooked.

Forgotten women : the leaders

The Leaders weaves together 48 unforgettable portraits of the true pioneers and leaders who made huge yet unacknowledged contributions to history. Chapters including Rebels; Warriors; Rulers; Activists and Reformers shine a spotlight on the rebellious women who defied the odds, and the opposition, to change the world around them.

Resisters : 52 young women making herstory right now

Young girls and women are uniting across the world to create change, have their voices heard and stand up for what they believe in.In this bold and brilliantly inspiring book, Lauren Sharkey profiles the powerful stories and achievements of 50 young campaigners, aged between 9 and 21 who are working to improve the lives of women like them.

Her story : 50 women and girls who shook the world

Learn about 50 intrepid women from around the world and throughout history. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced and the changes they made, each lavishly illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. With a range of pioneering careers - from astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians and many more. Compelling, motivating and visually arresting in equal measure, this is the perfect introduction to just some of the amazing women who have shaped our world.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of our greatest writers. But before that, she was just an ordinary girl. A gorgeous and inspiring picture book biography of Jane Austen, one of the most beloved writers of all time, from award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson.

Rudolf Nureyev

Discover the life of Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest male ballet dancers of all time. Rudolf fell in love with dance as a child. But he was not allowed to go to ballet school until he was 17. There, he had to make up for lost time and hone his skills to compete with the other dancers. As a professional, he dazzled audiences with sensational performances and star power. He went on to become a world-renowned choreographer and master of perfection in dance.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas. After a traumatic event at age eight, she stopped speaking for five years. However, Maya rediscovered her voice through wonderful books, and went on to become one of the world's most beloved writers and speakers.


A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, was a powerful and passionate leader worshipped by her people as a god for her beauty and her accomplishments.

Joan of Arc

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of martyr and Roman Catholic saint, Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc was a teenager known for her instrumental role in the Hundred Years' War between the rulers of France and England. Guided by religious visions, she fearlessly helped King Charles VII win back the French throne from the British.

Beyoncé : when dreams come true

This is the story of how a shy young girl from Houston, Texas rose to fame in one of the world's bestselling girl groups in history, before becoming an award-winning solo artist. This retelling of Beyoncé's story is perfect for young fans to learn about the early life of a music legend, and relive her incredible rise to fame. Discover a world where dreams really do come true!

Julia, Child

Julia and Simca are two young friends who agree that you can never use too much butter - and that it is best to be a child forever. Sharing a love of cooking and having no wish to turn into big, busy people who worry too much and dawdle too little, they decide to create a feast for growing and staying young. A playful, scrumptious celebration of the joy of eating and never completely growing up, this picturebook is a fictional tale loosely inspired by the life of Julia Child - a story that should be taken with a grain of salt and a generous pat of butter.

Little leaders : visionary women around the world

Featuring the true stories of women creators and thinkers from around the world, throughout history, this book shows that sometimes seeing things a little differently can lead to big changes. Some names are well known, some are not, but all the women had a lasting effect on the fields they worked in. Whether they were breaking ground for innovative structures or breaking rules and creating new ones, the women profiled here not only made a place for themselves in the world but made the world a better place to live.

Rad Women Worldwide

From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world. This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history.

Rebel women who changed Australia

Visionaries, pioneers, activists and artists - women who made a difference to Australia. An updated and condensed edition of Susanna de Vries' Great Australian Women, this is a celebration of women who broke the mould, crashed through the ceilings, and shaped the nation in the fields of medicine, law, the arts and politics.

Bad Girls Throughout History

Bad Girls Throughout History features some of the fiercest women of all time - the famous, the infamous, and the ones you haven't even heard of yet. Explore the notable works, impressive feats, and striking portraits of these wild women from around the globe who challenged the status quo.

Forgotten Women: the scientists

The Scientists celebrates 48* unsung scientific heroines whose hugely important, yet broadly unacknowledged or incorrectly attributed, discoveries have transformed our understanding of the scientific world. Chapters including Earth & Universe; Biology & Natural Sciences; Medicine & Psychology; Physics & Chemistry; Mathematics and Technology & Inventions profile the female scientists who have defied the odds, and the opposition, to change the world around us.

What would she do? : real-life stories of 25 rebel women who changed the world

Meet 25 of the most powerful and inspirational women of all time. From historical world leaders to modern pioneers and international muses, these are the incredible life stories of women from around the world to inspire and to empower. Created by an all-women team and illustrated by internationally renowned artists.


As a young teenager in India, Gandhi led a rebellious life and went against his parents' values. But as a young man, he started to form beliefs of his own that harked back to the Hindu principles of his childhood. Gandhi began to dream of unity for all peoples and religions. Inspired by this idea, he led peaceful protests to free India from British rule and unite the country- ending violence and unfair treatment. His bravery and free-thinking made him one of the most iconic people of peace in the world, known as 'Mahatma' meaning 'great soul'.

En Pointe

Chloe Bayliss was born to perform and thanks to a lot of hard work and determination, she's on her way to being a ballerina. At sixteen, she gets accepted into an international dance school and everything she dreamed of is about to come true. But then overnight a mystery illness takes Chloe from starring in Swan Lake to clinging to life in a hospital bed. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined the hurdles she would face - but also how she would eventually triumph.

A Cave in the Clouds: a young woman's escape from ISIS

Badeeah Hassan was just 18 when ISIS invaded her village in Iraq. Torn from her family, her home, and her Yazidi community, she was forced into a brutal human trafficking network and eventually sold to a high-ranking American-born ISIS general. As weeks in captivity turned into months, she drew on memories and stories from her childhood for strength. Her profound sense of faith and brave resilience ultimately led her to escape. Her eye-opening account speaks to the resilience of women, girls, and persecuted groups everywhere--and her voice is one more in a chorus of those hoping to banish violence and darkness forever.

Queer heroes

This book celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ people through history and from around the world. It features dynamic full-colour portraits of a diverse selection of 53 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this extraordinary book will show children that anything is possible.

Super Sporty Girls

Kick goals, challenge yourself and play with passion. Be inspired by these formidable Australian sportswomen who are fierce athletes and also the champions of having fun.

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