Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Teddy Kennedy: Lion of the Senate (Childhood of Famous Americans)

Teddy Kennedy: Lion of the Senate (Childhood of Famous Americans)

George E. Stanley
Illustrator:  Patrick Faricy 
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416990413

Edward “Teddy” Moore Kennedy was the ninth and last child that Rose and Joseph Kennedy had. From the time when he was still quite a small boy, Teddy felt as if he was living in the shadow of his big brothers and sisters. He was often ignored and left out, which made him try all the harder to get the attention he so desperately wanted. He wanted his often absent parents to notice him, and yet they never seemed to recognize this need in their youngest child.

Teddy’s parents demanded excellence of all their children, and Teddy found it very hard to live up to their standards. In fact, trying to be “a Kennedy” got Teddy into trouble over and over again. The more he failed to meet the expectations he set for himself, the more depressed he became. His grades in school were poor, and Teddy was sent from one school to another. It wasn’t until he was in his teens that he finally found a school where he was happy, and where he felt he belonged. At last, his grades began to improve, he made friends, and he began to feel that perhaps he might be able to do something with his life that would make a difference.

As an adult, Edward Kennedy served his country in many ways, and his efforts have made life better for countless Americans. Though he might not have been as famous as some of the other Kennedys, Edward Kennedy “achieved more than his brothers combined.”

This excellent biography will give readers a very clear picture of what Teddy Kennedy’s childhood was like. Readers will come to appreciate how brave and determined he was, and how hard it was for him to follow in the footsteps of his famous brothers.

This is one in a series of biographies that describe the childhoods of famous people.