Monday, September 27, 2010

197. Theodore Roosevelt: The Adventurous President

Theodore Roosevelt: The Adventurous President by the Editors of TIME For Kids with Lisa DeMauro (Canada) - (USA)
TIME For Kids Biographies

Pages: 44 pages
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 20, 2010
First Published: 2005
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: children, biography
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

It was early winter and the evening was chilly.

Acquired: Purchased a copy.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to 10yo as part of our history curriculum.

A very impressive biography for juveniles! The publisher's recommended age is 7-9 but this could be read aloud to as young as 5 and is suitable for up to 12. Presented in an easy reader type format with large print, the book would also be perfect for reluctant readers; the text is probably around a level 5.

With the minimal number of pages, this is obviously a brief look at Roosevelt's life but it manages to cover all bases from birth to death with unexpectedly rich content. Written in a main narrative with captioned photographs and occasional sidebars to add extra related information, we not only are given the major details but the interesting tidbits as well. The book is heavily illustrated with photographs and the illustration that lead to the famous Teddy Bear story. Each chapter moves forward in Roosevelt's life so not one aspect gets any greater attention than the others, thus giving his political life and hunting expeditions about equal time.

I'm impressed with the way history has been handled here. Obviously with Theodore Roosevelt the (now) controversial subject of his hunting is going to be at issue, but this biography treats it within its historical context without making any judgmental calls upon the practice and explaining the "sport" from the era's point of view. Then it goes on to explain how this is a thing of the past and what our modern era does to protect animals. This fair, non-revisionist approach to history is important to me and not easily found in books aimed at children.

We both really enjoyed what we found out about Teddy Roosevelt and highly recommend this brief but informative biography.

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