Around the Globe With The “Who Is?” Book Series

Around the Globe With The “Who Is?” Book Series: Categorizing the “Who Is” Books by Country

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Who Is books are popular non-fiction books for children in elementary school, and it can be hard to keep track of how many there are, which ones are out there. This list of Who Is books should help families and teachers organize them so that they can add relevant Who Is books into their study of a particular country or continent. It may be helpful to people doing Torchlight K or Build Your Library 0 and gearing it up toward older readers at the same time. 

The inclusion of these books on this list is not an endorsement of the material within the book. Please pre-read and choose books that work best for your family. The Who Is series has a lot of books out, some more relevant to cultural studies than others. 

 

List of Who Is Books and What Is Books by Country and Continent

 

Europe

United Kingdom: 

Who Was Henry VIII? King of England, founder of the Anglican Church

Who Was Queen Elizabeth? Queen of the early 1600s

Who William Shakespeare? Poet and playwright

Who Was Isaac Newton? Identified theory of gravity, an inventor of calculus

Who Was Charles Dickens? Writer of Christmas Carol and works about England’s cities

Who Was Jane Austen? Writer of Pride and Prejudice in 1812

Who Was Queen Victoria?

Who Was Lewis Carroll? Alice in Wonderland author in 1865

Who Were Stanley and Livingstone? (1866 England explorers)

Who Was Charles Darwin? Explorer of the Galapagos Islands

Who Was Beatrix Potter? Peter Rabbit author and conservationist

Who Was A.A. Milne? (Winnie the Pooh author)

Who Was Ernest Shackleton? British explorer of the Antarctic

Who Was Winston Churchill? Prime Minister during World War 2

Who Was J.R.R. Tolkein? Lord of the Rings and Hobbit author

Who Was Roald Dahl? Author of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach

Who Were The Beatles?

Who Are The Rolling Stones?

Who Was Jane Goodall? A primatologist who lived with chimps for 50+ years

Who Was David Bowie? Singer, songwriter of glam rock

Who Was Princess Diana? Mother of Prince William and Prince Harry

Who Is Elton John? Singer and pianist, famous entertainer

Who is David Beckham? Soccer player, soccer team owner

Who Is J.K. Rowling? Author of Harry Potter series

Who is Malala Yousafzai? Education advocate

Who is Richard Branson? Business owner and investor

Where is the Tower of London? The old jail for political prisoners, in central London

Where is Stonehenge?

Where is the Parthenon? Parts of this Greek national treasure are held in the British Museum 

Ireland
Who is Bono? Singer of U2

Spain: 

Who Was Christopher Columbus? (Columbus was Italian, commissioned by Spain to travel)

Who Was Pablo Picasso?

Portugal: 

Ferdinand Magellan? An explorer whose crew circumnavigated the globe

France:

Who Was Joan of Arc? Religious Crusader

Who Was Marie Antoinette? Queen of France

Who Was Napoleon? Emperor of France

Who Was Louis Braille? Educator to the Blind

Who Was Jules Verne? Author of science fiction (good to pair with Nelly Bly)

Who Was Claude Monet? French Impressionist painter

Who Was Marie Curie? Winner of 2 Nobel prizes, studied radiation

Who Was Jacques Cousteau? Underwater sea explorer

Where is the Eiffel Tower?

Netherlands:

Who Was Anne Frank? Diarist, Holocaust victim

Germany: 

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Musical composer

Who Were the Brothers Grimm? The founders of many famous fairy tales in 1815

Who Was Albert Einstein? German-American physicist

Austria: 

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Musical composer, born in Germany, moved to Austria

Hungary: 

Who Was Harry Houdini? Magician, illusionist who was born in Hungary and emigrated at age 4

Poland:

Who Was Marie Curie? Winner of 2 Nobel prizes, studied radiation. Polish, lived in France.

Italy: 

Who Was Marco Polo?

Who Was Christopher Columbus?

Who Was Julius Caesar?

Who Was Galileo? 

Who Was Leonardo da Vinci? 

Where is the Colosseum? Rome, Italy

Vatican City: 

Who Is Pope Francis? 

Where Is The Vatican? 

Iceland:

Who Was Leif Erikson? First European to arrive to North America, in Canada

Greece: 

Who Was Alexander the Great?

Where is the Parthenon? On the acropolis of Athens, but much has been taken to Britain

Macedonia: 

Who Was Alexander the Great?

Serbia: 

Who was Nikola Tesla? Maker of our electric plugs, inspiration of “Tesla” the car

North America

Canada:

Who Was Leif Erikson? First European to arrive to North America, in Canada

Who Was Wayne Gretzky? Hockey Player

Where are The Niagara Falls? On the border of Canada and New York, United States

United States:

Note: Timelines are approximate, people live long lives across multiple eras. 

Who Was Blackbeard? A Pirate of the Carribean in 1716

American Revolution

Who Was Ben Franklin? Scientist and printer, first community libraries, helped on Declaration of Independence, and secured French assistance in American Revolution

Who Was George Washington? Military leader in American Revolution, first US President

Who Was Paul Revere? Warned the British were coming in battles of Lexington and Concord

Who Was Betsy Ross? Designer of first American flag

Who Was Benedict Arnold? A hero of the American Revolution, turned Redcoat in 1780

Who Was Alexander Hamilton? “Just you wait…” Worked with George Washington on America as a new nation

Who Was Abigail Adams? First Lady of the United States, mother of President John Q Adams

Who Was Thomas Jefferson? Writer of Declaration of Independence, President, founder of UVA

Early 1800s

Who Was Sacagawea? A translator and guide on the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific

Who Was Johnny Appleseed? John Chapman planted tree nurseries and a missionary

Who Was Daniel Boone? Explorer into Northwest territory and Cumberland Gap in Maryland

Who Was Davy Crockett? Fought at Alamo in 1836

Who Was Levi Strauss? (the creator of denim pants, “Levis”, in the 1949 Gold Rush)

Who Was Edgar Allen Poe? Poet of spooky stories

Civil War Era

Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe? Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in 1850s

Who Was Abraham Lincoln? US President during US Civil War, 3 million slaves in the United States were liberated during the five years he was in power.

Who Was Frederick Douglass? Advocate for African-American rights, got the first Black units put in the U.S. Army. Born in enslavement, invited to the White House by President Lincoln

Who Was Harriet Tubman? Rescuer of hundreds of slaves to freedom, Civil War commander, and activist for women’s right to vote.

Who Was Clara Barton? Civil War nurse, creator of American Red Cross

Who Was Ulysses S. Grant? Civil War General of the Union, and later US President

Who Was Robert E. Lee? General of the Confederate States, surrendered in Civil War

Post Civil War, late 1800s

Who Was Walt Whitman? (American poet in the 1860s-1870s)

Who Was Mark Twain? Author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

Who Was P.T. Barnum? circus founder

Who Was Annie Oakley? Sharpshooter with her gun

Who Was Susan B. Anthony? Worked for women’s right to vote

Who Was Booker T. Washington? Born enslaved, graduated college, and then founded his own college called the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he hired George Washingotn Carver as a professor. 

Who Was George Washington Carver? Born enslaved, went to college, became a botanist who transformed American agriculture by finding additional business uses for products like potatoes and peanuts

Who Was Alexander Graham Bell? Inventor of the telephone

Who Was Thomas Alva Edison? Electricity pioneer, inventor of phonograph (record-player)

Who Was Sojourner Truth? Women’s Rights Activist and won a court case for race-based discrimination on a streetcar 

Who was Nelly Bly? In 1885 she traveled around the world in 72 days, an award-winning journalist

Who Was Ida B. Wells? Born in slavery, Ida B. Wells was a journalist who brought truth to power. She documented the lynchings happening in the Jim Crow South, worked for women’s right to vote, and helped found the NAACP. 

Who Was Sitting Bull? Leader of Standing Rock Indian Reservation

Who Was Nikola Tesla? Maker of our electric plugs (AC current), inspiration of “Tesla” the car

Early 1900s

Who Was Theodore Roosevelt? US President, fought in Spanish American War, created national park system

Who Were The Wright Brothers? First flight of an airplane

Who Was Henry Ford? An inventor of automobiles

Who Was Helen Keller? Public speaker and author who was born deaf, blind, and mute

Who Was Juliette Gordon Lowe? (founded Girl Scouts in 1912)

1920s

Who Was Harry Houdini? A magician and escape artist

Who Was Babe Ruth? Pitcher and homerun hitter for the New York Yankees

Who Was Duke Ellington? Biggest name in jazz, composer of 3,000 songs, bandleader 

Who Was Louis Armstrong? Trumpet player called “Satchmo”, pioneer of jazz

Who Was Walt Disney? Creator of Mickey Mouse, Disneyworld, and Disney corporation

1930s

Who Was Robert Ripley? Believe it or Not, this cartoonist got the US its national anthem

Who Was Franklin Delano Roosevelt? US President for four terms, Great Depression to WW2

Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt? Human Rights Activist at United Nations, First Lady

Who Was Milton Hersey? A milk chocolate maker

Who Were The Three Stooges?

Who Was Charlie Chaplin? Film star

Who Was Seabiscuit? A Horse

Who Was Milton Bradley? The producer of the Monopoly Board Game

Who Was Jesse Owens? Track runner in 1936 Olympics in Berlin

Who Was Amelia Earhart? Pilot who worked on flying around the world solo by plane

Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder? Writer of stories about the American prairie

Who Was Chuck Jones? Cartoon animator behind Tom & Jerry, Loony Toons, and Grinch Who Stole Christmas animated movie

1940s

Who Were the Navajo Code Talkers? (WW2 radio operators using their language)

Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? Decorated pilots of World War 2 trained at the Tuskegee Institute, school founded by Booker T. Washington

Who Was Jackie Robinson? Military soldier, MLB baseball, first player to integrate MLB

Who Was Maria Tallchief? In 1946, became star of New York City Ballet. Sugar Plum Fairy and Firebird roles, born on Osage Reservation in Oklahoma

Who Was Albert Einstein? German-American physicist

Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright? Architect of flat-roofed houses embedded in nature

1950s

Who Was Lucille Ball? Television producer, first woman to be pregnant on television, comedienne

Who Was Norman Rockwell? Painter of American idyllic towns and later Ruby Bridges

Who Was Elvis Presley? American singer who was drafted into Vietnam War

1960s

Who Was Julia Child? A famous television chef in 1960s

Who Was Alfred Hitchcock? Film maker

Who Was Dr. Seuss? Children’s book illustrator and poet

Who Was Rosa Parks? Civil Rights Activist, started Montgomery Bus Boycott

Who Was John F. Kennedy? President of the United States

Who Was Jacqueline Kennedy? First Lady of United States

Who Was Coretta Scott King? Civil Rights Activist and Book Award Giver

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.? Civil Rights Activist for right to vote, equal rights in businesses and jobs, fair housing laws, fair job wages

Who Was Richard Nixon? US Vice Pres in the 1950s, became Pres in 1969. 

Who Was Harvey Milk? Groundbreaking equal-rights quality candidate in the 1960s

Who Was Andy Warhol? Artist of 1960s in the pop art movement

Who is Bob Dylan? Singer, songwriter

Who Was Pete Seeger? Songwriter in folk movement

Who Was Cesar Chavez? Grape farmer union activist

Who Was Jim Henson? Muppets creator, Sesame Street founder

Who Was Neil Armstrong? First man on the moon in July, 1969

Who Was Aretha Franklin? R-E-S-P-E-C-T, soul singer

Who Was Muhammad Ali? Famous boxer, protester of Vietnam War, advocate for equal rights

1970s

Who Was Rachel Carson? Biologist, writer, caused founding of EPA

Who is Gloria Steinem? Advocate for Equal Rights Amendment for women

Who Was Sam Walton? Founded Walmart, in Arkansas

Who Was Mr. Rogers? Founder of quality children’s television

Who Was Roberto Clemente? Long-running MLB baseball player from Puerto Rico

Who Is George Lucas? Creator of Star Wars movies?

1980s

Who Was Sally Ride? Astronaut and teacher in the Challenger Disaster of 1985

Who Was Bruce Lee? Martial Arts movie filmmaker

Who Was Steven Hawking? Astrophysicist studying the universe, famous disability icon

Who Was Ronald Reagan? President of the United States, movie actor previously

Who Is Bruce Springsteen? American Singer of Rock music

Who is Steven Spielberg? American movie filmmaker

1990s

Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Supreme Court Justice and women’s rights lawyer

Who is Michael Jordan? Basketball champion, Olympian, businessperson

Who Was Selena? Best-selling Latin music singer of 1990s

Who Was Maya Angelou? America’s poet and civil rights activist

Who is Judy Blume? Children’s author of the Fudge series

Who Is Bill Gates? Former CEO of Microsoft, works on health and education initiatives

2000s onward

Who Was Steve Jobs? A founder of Apple Computers

Who Was Stan Lee? Creator of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, father of superheros

Who is Neil deGrasse Tyson? (currently living astronomer)

Who Is RuPaul? (current television host)

Who is Stevie Wonder? Blind singer, successful music artist, activist for equality

Who is Jackie Chan? (movie star from Hong Kong) 

Who is R.L.Stine? Author of Goosebumps, scary stories for children.

Who is Jeff Kinney? Author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series

Who is Derek Jeter? New York Yankees baseball player

Who is Dolly Parton? Country music singer, literacy adocate

Who Is Michelle Obama? First Lady, healthy eating advocate

Who Is Barack Obama? US President

Who is Sonia Sotomayor? Third woman on U.S. Supreme Court

Who is Hillary Clinton? First Lady, US Senator, Secretary of State

Who Are Venus and Serena Williams? Most Wimbleton tennis tournaments won

Who is Oprah Winfrey? Successful talk show host, first Black female billionaire

Where is Broadway?  New York City theater district

Where is Walt Disneyworld?  Orlando, Florida themepark

Where is Hollywood?  Movie industry of Los Angeles, California

Where is Area 51? A military classified area near Roswell, New Mexico

Where is the Mississippi River? The longest U.S. river that splits the US into East to West

Where is Alcatraz? Prison on an island off of San Francisco, California

Where is the Brooklyn Bridge? In New York City, in the borough of Brooklyn 

Where are the Niagara Falls? On the border of Canada and New York, United States

Where is the Empire State Building? In Manhattan borough of New York City, NY

Where is the White House? 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, District of Columbia

Where is Mount Rushmore? South Dakota

Where is the Grand Canyon? Arizona, in the area near both Utah and Colorado

Mexico: 

Who Was Frida Kahlo? Painter

Who Was Selena? Texan singer of Mexican heritage, biggest Latina singer in 1990s

Where is Chichen Itza?

Cuba:

Who Was Che Guevara? Cuban revolutionary, author of “The Motorcycle Diaries”, born in Argentina

Who was Celia Cruz? Famous Cuban singer, Queen of Salsa, and “Azucar!” 1960s

Who Was Fidel Castro? Cuban dictator

Jamaica: 

Who Was Bob Marley? Famous reggae singer

Caribbean:

Where is the Bermuda Triangle?

Asia

Russia:

Who Was Catherine the Great? (1762, overthrew her husband and became ruler of Russia)

Where is the Kremlin? Government building in Moscow

Mongolia:

Who Was Genghis Khan?

China:

Who Was Confucius? (551 B.C., a leader in education)

Who is Jackie Chan? (movie star from Hong Kong) 

Where is Mount Everest? On the border of Nepal and China

Where is the Great Wall? Beijing

Tibetan Buddhism of China:

Who Is the Dalai Lama? 

Nepal: 

Where is Mount Everest? Tallest mountain in the world, in Nepal.

Pakistan: 

Who is Malala Yousafzai? Education advocate

India: 

Who Was Gandhi? Worked on the rights of Indians during British colonial rule

Who Was Mother Teresa? Catholic nun who worked in hospice care

Where is the Taj Mahal? The city of Agra

Israel: 

Who Was Jesus? Leading figure in Christianity

South America

Brazil:

Who is Pele?

Ecuador:

Who Was Charles Darwin? (his work on the Galapagos Islands highlighted that location in Ecuador)

Where Are the Galapagos Islands?

Chile:

Where is Easter Island?

Peru:

Where is Machu Picchu? Incan city of the 1500s, discovered in early 1900s

Where is the Amazon Rain Forest? 

Africa

Egypt: 

Who Was King Tut? 

Where are the Great Pyramids? 

Democratic Republic of the Congo:

Where is the Congo?

Tanzania

Where is the Serengeti?

South Africa:

Who Was Nelson Mandela?

Australia and Pacific

Australia:

Who Was Steve Irwin?

Where is the Great Barrier Reef? 

Easter Island:

Where is Easter Island?

Antarctica

Antarctica:

Who Was Ernest Shackleton? English explorer of the Antarctic

Where is Antarctica? 

Outer Space

Outer Space: 

Where is Our Solar System?

Where are The Constellations?

Credit:

This list of Who Is books by country was compiled by BooksAroundTheGlobe.com

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The Where is? and Who Is? Series are published by Penguin House Books.

 

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