Tupac Shakur

Hip-Hop Idol

From the Series USA TODAY Lifeline Biographies

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

As USA TODAY, the Nation’s No. 1 Newspaper, puts it, “[Tupac] Shakur saw himself as both artist and urban soldier, battling the media, the law, the courts and rival rappers.” Tupac overcame poverty to become one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. His life, death, and music were all surrounded by controversy.
Raised by a single mother and ex-Black Panther in Harlem, Tupac grew up aware of the problems in society around him. His social conscience and creative talents made him a unique voice in rap music. He starred in several Hollywood films about the challenges of urban life. But Tupac also struggled with drug abuse, served time in prison, and faced extreme violence―including a shooting that took his life. Throughout Tupac Shakur’s career, he outraged some and inspired many. He continues to be known as one of the greatest rappers in the history of hip-hop.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2011
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 112
Publication Date 2010-08-01
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN006060, YAN006020
Dewey 782.421649092
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 6 x 8.5
Lexile 830
ATOS Reading Level 6.0
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 152513
Accelerated Reader® Points 3.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, Starred Reviews, and Table of contents

Author: Carrie Golus

Carrie Golus has been a freelance writer since 1991. She has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, as well as website content, brochures, video scripts, press releases, and the text for a museum exhibition. She holds a BA and a MA in English language and literature from the University of Chicago. She has written several biographies for young readers.


  • Booklist Top 10 Arts Books for Youth, Winner, 2011



“The Lifeline Biographies series, which is produced with access to USA Today‘s archives, does a fantastic job of creating biographies that are both informative and eye-catching. Moreover, their subjects are of substantial interest to today’s kids. . . . ‘In Focus’ sidebars, pertinent articles from USA Today, source notes, and great graphics all help make this series a standout.” —Booklist