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READING - 6th Grade Book Bingo 2022

A Memoir

About the Category!

The Oxford English Dictionary partially defines memoir as:

"Records of events or history written from the personal knowledge or experience of the writer"

Here's another way of defining memoir:

“Memoir” is from the French word mémoire, meaning memory or reminiscence. A written memoir is a collection of personal memories related to specific moments or experiences in the author’s life, connected to a person, event, place, or object. The writing is based on the author’s personal knowledge . . . For instance, it may be about the author’s experience of being held captive . . . fighting in a war. It might be about a recurring event, such as spending every childhood summer at a family cabin. - Definition taken from The Author Learning Center

A memoir is sometimes called an autobiography, except that oftentimes an autobiography chronicles the author's whole life, while a memoir will only tell the story of one part of the author's life.

Source Citations:

Author Learning Center. "The Differences between Memoir, Autobiography, and Biography." Author Learning Center, Accessed 25 Jan. 2019.

Oxford English Dictionary, editor. "Memoir." Oxford English Dictionary, Accessed 25 Jan.

A memoir is a story told by the person who lived the experience, while a biography can be defined as:

...the story of events and circumstances of a person’s life, written by someone other than that person. It is usually written about a historical or public figure and can be written with or without the subject’s permission - Description adapted from The Author Learning Center

More about biographies from The Author Learning Center!

"A biographer researches and studies a person’s life to collect facts and create a historically accurate, multi-faceted picture of that  individual’s  experiences. The biography includes intricate details such as birthplace, educational background, work history, relationships, and death. Biographers analyze and interpret events in a person's life, looking for meaning in their actions, uncovering mistakes, solving mysteries, connecting details, and highlighting the significance of the person's accomplishments or life activities. They often write in chronological order, but sometimes organize writings by themes or specific accomplishments or topics."

Source Citation: Author Learning Center. "The Differences between Memoir, Autobiography, and Biography." Author Learning Center, Accessed 25 Jan. 2019.

More characteristics of memoirs:

- The author is the main character and the story is written from the author’s perspective using the first person singular voice (I, not we, one, or you).

- Unlike an autobiography that is written at the end of a life, a memoir can be written at any time because it is based on a specific time or experience.

- Memoirs are often less formal than an autobiography and focus on thoughts and feelings, reactions and reflections, seeking to connect with the emotion of an experience.

- Context, such as background information, is woven into the story but is not the focus of the story.

- Like a novel, it includes setting, character relationships, and dialogue

Source Citation: Author Learning Center. "The Differences between Memoir, Autobiography, and Biography." Author Learning Center, Accessed 25 Jan. 2019. 

Reading Suggestions From The BC Library: A Memoir

Courage to Soar

Simone Biles' entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medals--fourteen of them gold--and the Olympic successes. Simone shares the details of her inspiring personal story--one filled with the kinds of daily acts of courage that led her, and can lead you, to even the most unlikely of dreams.

Call No: B BILES

I Am Malala

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price.

Call No: B YOUSAFZAI  ► Find eBook in Sora 

Being Jazz

Teen advocate and trailblazer Jazz Jennings--named one of "The 25 Most Influential Teens" of the year by Time--shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community.

Call No: B JENNINGS  ► Find eBook in Sora 

Survivors Club

In 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother's arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father's courageous wit, a mother's fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world.

Call No: B KAMKWAMBA  ► Find eBook in Sora 

This Kid Can Fly: It's about Ability (NOT Disability)

In this heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting memoir, Aaron Philip, a fourteen-year-old with cerebral palsy, journeys from happy baby in Antigua to confident teen artist in New York City. These honest, often funny stories of triumph despite physical difficulties, poverty, and other challenges are as inspiring as they are eye-opening.

Call No: B PHILIP  ► Find eBook in Sora 

Boy - Tales of Childhood

Find out where the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG got all his wonderful story ideas in this autobiographical account of his childhood!  From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury's? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924?

Call Number: B DAHL  ► Find eBook in Sora 

Chasing Space Young Readers' Edition

In this inspiring memoir, adapted from the simultaneous version for adults, young readers will get to learn about Leland Melvin's remarkable life story, from being drafted by the Detroit Lions to bravely orbiting our planet in the International Space Station to writing songs with, working with Serena Williams, and starring in top-rated television shows like The Dog Whisperer, Top Chef, and Child Genius. When the former Detroit Lion's football career was cut short by an injury, Leland didn't waste time mourning his broken dream. Instead, he found a new one--something that was completely out of this world. He joined NASA, braved an injury that nearly left him permanently deaf, and still managed to muster the courage and resolve to travel to space on the shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station. Leland's problem-solving methods and can-do attitude turned his impossible-seeming dream into reality. 

Call Number: B MELVIN

Born a Crime

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. 

Call Number: B NOAH  ► Find eBook in Sora 


In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.

Call Number: B OBAMA  ► Find eBook in Sora 

This Promise of Change

In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to go back to their old school. Jo Ann--clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students---found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen? This is the heartbreaking and relatable story of her four months thrust into the national spotlight and as a trailblazer in history. Based on original research and interviews and featuring backmatter with archival materials and notes from the authors on the co-writing process.

Call Number: B BOYCE  ► Find eBook in Sora