Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Scary Basement

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Scary Basement

Peter Merchant
Illustrator:  Anne DeVito 
Historical Fiction
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2006   ISBN: 978-0689872051

When Eleanor Roosevelt was a little girl she was scared of practically everything. She was scared of letting people see her because she felt that she wasn't pretty. She was scared of mice, boats, and robbers. Most of all she was scared of the dark.

One night Eleanor was woken up by the sound of her Aunt Edith's voice calling out to her. Eleanor loved her aunt very much and so she found the courage to get out of bed and to go to her aunt's room – in the dark.

Aunt Edith was ill and she asked Eleanor to get her some ice water. Eleanor was terrified because this would mean that she would have to go to the scariest part of the house, the basement.

Children sometimes think that famous people are born brave and capable. They don't realize that well-known men and women are just like the rest of us. They have their worries and their fears. They are sometimes even afraid of the dark. Reading this story about Eleanor Roosevelt will show children that being afraid is normal. Being able to overcome those fears is what makes us special.

This is great book to use to help children see that history is interesting and that it has meaning for us today. This is one of the titles in the Childhood of Famous Americans series, which was designed to help beginner readers expand their reading skills.