Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Photographic Story of a life: Eleanor Roosevelt

A Photographic Story of a life: Eleanor Roosevelt

Kem Knapp Sawyer
For ages 9 to 12
DK, 2006   ISBN: 978-0756614959

From an early age Eleanor knew that she was an awkward child, that she was very unlike her beautiful, elegant and vivacious mother. She felt this difference deeply and it made her shy and withdrawn. Indeed she found socializing very difficult for many years until she was sent to school in England. Here she truly came into her own showing her teachers and her school mates that she was clever, sensitive, kind, and fun to be with.

Back in New York and now a young woman Eleanor had little patience for the social scene. Instead she preferred to spend her time teaching in a school and helping those in need. Eleanor was not afraid to leave the security of her own milieu and she was determined to do what she could to better the lives of the women and children whom she met in the poorer districts of the city.

This strong belief that she should help those less fortunate than herself only grew stronger as she grew older. When Eleanor married Franklin Delano Roosevelt she did not give up her work though she did have to devote a certain amount of time to her every growing family. Eleanor also believed that she should do all she could to further her husband?s political career, for she felt that Franklin could do a great deal for the country.

Later, when Franklin became the president, Eleanor was able to do a great deal through her husband. In his name she traveled around the country and around the world, gathering information and offering those in need her sympathy and her assurance that she would do all she could to help them. This she did with great enthusiasm and energy and after Franklin died Eleanor kept on working, playing a major role in the United Nations, giving speeches all over the world, and writing articles for newspapers.

This excellent biography truly shows readers how committed Eleanor Roosevelt was to helping others. She was not afraid to speak her mind and she stuck to her convictions even when they made her unpopular. Eleanor showed the people in her country and elsewhere that a First Lady could make a real difference and that there really is no excuse for not going out into the world to make it a better place.

Packed with wonderful annotated photographs, informative text boxes, and quotations, this one of the many titles in the superb DK biography series.