Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Review of "Being Teddy Roosevelt"

Being Teddy Roosevelt
Claudia Mills and R.W. Alley
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Available Here

Short Summary:
Riley has to write a biography, and then come to school dressed as his subject for a fancy tea. Five whole pages! The worst part? He can't pick the subject. He picks Teddy Roosevelt out of the teacher's hat. While Riley could care less about this long-dead president, there is a subject in school that he loves - music. Riley wants to rent a sax for band, but it costs $25 per month. His single mom never has any extra money, and his dad rarely sends them money. Riley begins reading his 127-page book about Roosevelt, and starts thinking of ways that he can maybe, just maybe, find a way to get that saxophone after all. The result? Hilarious fun, with Helen Keller tripping over imaginary snakes in the library, a young Gandhi parading around school in a white loincloth and head shaved in the boys bathroom, a kindly school bus driver, a dented van, and much more.

What Makes This Book Good?
The plot is adorable!
The kids are true-to-life.
There is a positive lesson, without being terribly obvious - be resourceful, inventive, and always try your best.
The illustrations are lively and fit in with the style of the book, and the black and white pictures don't detract from the story.
Good quality hardback binding.

What Did I Not Like About This Book?
Could be a bit longer, at only 90 pages, makes $16 a bit pricey.

Shaley's Verdict:

A great addition for school libraries, and teaches kids a good bit of history while being great fun.


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