Autobiographies and Memoirs

Autobiographies and Memoirs

Do you like to read real life stories? If so, try out this list of teen autobiographies and memoirs. 

The Diary of a Young Girl—Anne Frank

Classic work known around the world, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in Holland to escape the Nazis. Her diary was found there years later, and chronicles her thoughts and her life.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an America Slave, written by himself—Frederick Douglass

First-hand account from an escaped slave who became an important figure in the anti-slavery movement.

All Creatures Great and Small—James Herriot

Mid-Twentieth century account of the life as a small-town veterinarian in England, mainly stories about the people and animals he encountered.

Boy: Tales of Childhood—Roald Dahl

Early childhood tales from Roald Dahl, the author of fantastical works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.

Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir—Beverly Cleary

Follows the early life of Newberry Medalist author Cleary, author of the Ramona books and many more.

The Hiding Place—Corrie ten Boom

Memoir of a middle-aged Dutch watchmaker in World War II whose family helped Jews escape the Nazis, until they ended up in a concentration camp themselves.

Bad Boy: A Memoir—Walter Dean Myers

Author Walter Dean Myers describes his life growing up as a trouble-making book-lover in Harlem during the 1940s and 50s.

A Child Called It—David J. Pelzer

The author's account of his early years describes one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. The story continues in The Privilege of Youth and A Man Named Dave.

Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to get Back on the Board—Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton account of being a teenage surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Not even the loss of her arm keeps her from returning to surfing, the sport she loves. Watch the movie version of the book: Soul Surfer.

The Story of My Life—Helen Keller

Overcoming deafness and blindness to become a legend, Helen Keller embodies courage, passion, and perseverance. 

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution—Ji-li Jiang

A young Chinese girl must make difficult choices when the government urges her to repudiate her ancestors and inform on her own parents.

This Boy’s Life: A Memoir—Tobias Wolff

In and out of trouble in his youth, this charter member of the "Bad Boys' Club" survives a boyhood that stretches from Florida to the Pacific Northwest. 



Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different—Karen Blumenthal

This biography looks at the life and career of the man who was CEO of Apple Computers.

Marie Curie : the woman who changed the course of science - Phillip Steele

Presents the life and accomplishments of the Polish-born chemist, discussing her scientific work in radioactivity and her two Nobel prizes.
Feynman—Jim Ottaviani, art by Leland Myrick

Get to know perhaps the most famous personality of nuclear physics: the bongo-playing, safe-cracking, defiantly curious Novel Prize winner Richard Feynman in this meticulously researched graphic biography.


Walt Disney : the triumph of the American imagination—Neal Gabler

This is the definitive biography of one of the most important figures in 20th-century American entertainment and culture. Given complete access to the Disney Archives, the author paints an illuminating portrait of a legendary visionary.

Pocahontas—Joseph Bruchac

Told from the viewpoints of Pocahontas and John Smith, describes their lives in the context of the encounter between the Powhatan Indians and the English colonists of 17th century Jamestown, Virginia.

Amelia Earhart: The Sky’s No Limit—Lori Van Pelt

Amelia Earhart earned her pilot’s wings in her early twenties and became the best-known female aviator of her time. During her two-decade career as a pilot, she set altitude records, speed records, and transcontinental flight records.

Charles and Emma: the Darwins’ Leap of Faith—Deborah Heiligam

Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious and Charles questioned God’s very existence.

The Greatest: Muhammed Ali—Walter Dean Myers

An award-winning author presents a riveting account of the extraordinary career and accomplishments of boxer Muhammad Ali.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: a True Story of Adventure, Heroism, Treachery—Steve Sheinkin

An introduction to the life of Benedict Arnold that highlights not only the traitorous actions that made him legendary, but also his heroic involvement in the American Revolution.