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Paperback Being Teddy Roosevelt: A Boy, a President and a Plan Book

ISBN: 0312640188

ISBN13: 9780312640187

Being Teddy Roosevelt: A Boy, a President and a Plan

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to get a saxophone so he can take instrumental music. His mother can't afford to rent him a sax, and he's sure he'll never save up enough money to buy one. But as Riley learns more about Roosevelt's "bully" spirit, he realizes that there just might be a way to solve his problem after all. Claudia...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great kids book with excellent storyline and positive message.

The book gives a positive message about one of America's historical figures, Teddy Roosevelt. Learning about Teddy helps a young boy become self-reliant, industrious, and honorable. A great and easy read for any third through fifth grader.

Great Inspiration for Kids "Being" a Historical Figure

When my son's second grade class was assigned their characters and told they were going to have to "be" them for a field trip to the wax museum, the hesitation in his voice was definite. He happened to get Teddy Roosevelt, so we were off to the public library for facts and learning. We found this book, and his whole attitude changed. The engaging story of third graders on a similar adventure helped my son to see that he could do it too...and the lessons learned by the two little boys in this story about themselves along with their characters is priceless! Now, he wants to buy this book for our school's library and share it with all the other kids. The librarian, and his parents, are thrilled! Thank you Claudia Mills for an excellent book for young readers. Please do more fun adventures for bright young readers! This is an Accelerated Reader book for level 4.1 that is also suitable for the emotional maturity of younger children who read well.

A Fun Read!

This is an absolute must-have for the 3rd grade book club shelf. Riley is a forgetful 4th grader with a life full of challenges. He desperately wants a saxophone, as his class will soon be starting instruments in music. His parents are divorced and there is very little money for such extravagances. In class, his teacher has assigned the students a famous person to study, report on, and ultimately dress up as for her annual "Biography Tea." Riley gets Roosevelt and throughout the story finds connections between Teddy and himself - ultimately transcending his obstacles and getting what he wants most. This book is SO CLOSE to perfect! I really wish it had more connections between the historical figure biographies and the students studying them. Specifically, I wish the pairing of Riley and Roosevelt worked out better. He ends up having to rely on his friends (was that a theme of Teddy Roosevelt's life?) to accomplish his goal. Some of the connections for the other students are actually quite wonderful - his best friend, Grant, is studying Ghandi and has some brilliant episodes of humility, poverty, and compassion. One of the girls in class studies Helen Keller and her attempts at blindness and deafness add some interesting scenes, however lacking in actual deep connections. It would have made for such great discussion to have some more conflict with the students and their biographies. I shouldn't take anything away from what is really a wonderful story. My students enjoyed it thoroughly and had wonderful discussions about earning money, emulating their heroes, and friendship. I won't put it in the top 5, but it is definitely a staple of the 3rd grade shelf.

Great characters, believable plot, funny yet touching

Since I work as a children's librarian, I see plenty of kids coming in for homework on "being" a historical character--so I know this book is very real! As often as not, they have no idea who they are going to portray but end up enjoying the assignment. A wonderful thing about this book is the many plotlines woven into its 90 pages: Will Riley get his sax? Will this or that kid succeed in the assignment? Will the overachiever triumph this time, too? The author has a good ear for kid dialogue and a good sense of pacing. All in all an enjoyable book, and at just under a hundred pages long enough for book reports.

A great book for elementary schools!

Claudia Mills' "Being Teddy Roosevelt" is a small school story with a big punch. Aimed at the 1st- through 4th-grade reader, "Being Teddy Roosevelt" stars Riley, a fourth-grader who lives with his single mother and isn't always a grade A student, though his intentions are good. You see, he's forgetful and those math worksheets just have a way of disappearing. When Mrs. Harrow, Riley's teacher, announces the class will be preparing reports on famous historical figures and attending a biography tea in full costume, Riley is concerned. He knows he'll have trouble reading a full biography on his subject: Teddy Roosevelt. He's concerned about being in costume and preparing for the tea. Adding to his biography problems is the announcement about instrumental music in 5th grade. Students have been invited to enroll, but Riley knows his mom can't afford to rent him a saxophone. Despite his reservations, Riley gets caught up in his subject and learns that Roosevelt never went around an obstacle--instead he faced them head on. Riley decides he'll earn the money himself to buy a sax and his friend Grant, a well-off child with millions of video games, is happy to help. (Grant drew Gandhi for his biography subject--to hilarious results at the tea.) In working towards his goal, Riley earns an A- on his Roosevelt report AND, with the help of Grant and two other school friends, finds a way to get a saxophone. Erika (a pushy Queen Elizabeth) and class brain Sophie (a frustrated Helen Keller) convince Riley to just ask the band director for a sax: "As they got close to the cafeteria, Riley could hear the fifth graders playing a lively march. It made him feel braver inside. Music could do that for you. It could change the way you felt. It could make everything better." (86) Mills' "Being Teddy Roosevelt" is a realistic tale, with recognizable child characters and a lot of heart. I've always worried about kids not having access to instrumental music, simply because they're too afraid to admit their families can't afford the rental fees. "Being Teddy Roosevelt" combines this issue with an entertaining school story every child will enjoy. R.W. Alley's illustrations are generous and funny and readers will recognize each and every character in the drawings. Highly recommended for elementary audiences.
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