Theodore Roosevelt for Kids
His Life and Times, 21 Activities
Chicago Review Press, April 28, 2010
144 pages, ages 9 and up
Theodore Roosevelt’s heart was as big as the great outdoors he loved. A sickly, undersized boy, he grew into a physically fit, energetic man whose courage knew no bounds. Roosevelt hailed from the top of American society, but wealth could not shield him from human tragedy. As leader of a young, vigorous nation, he steered a middle course between the power brokers of big business and the needs of ordinary working people. A keen student of nature, Roosevelt would protect millions of acres for posterity. He was a writer, ranchman, politician, soldier, explorer, family man, and America’s 26th president, the youngest person to ever hold the office.
Theodore Roosevelt for Kids brings to life this fascinating man, an American giant whose flaws were there for all the world to see. Twenty-one hands-on activities offer a useful glimpse at Roosevelt’s work and times. Readers will create a Native American toy, explore the effects of erosion, go on a modern big game hunt with a camera, and make felted teddy bears. The text includes a time line, online resources, and reading list for further study. And through it all, readers will appreciate how one man lived a “Bully!” life and made the word his very own.
Honors and Recognition
Smithsonian Notable Book for Children for 2010
“What stands out in this volume is the writing, which presents history as an engaging and informative story. Hollihan opens the narrative with a focus on asthmatic ‘Teedie.’His efforts to strengthen his body are accompanied by a list of bodybuilding activities. Following the chronology of Roosevelt’s life, a positive picture emerges of the man and his family, his rise to fame, and his impact on history. Activities include making a journal, building a diorama, ‘hunting’ with a camera, and even making a dessert based on Roosevelt’s insult that McKinley had ‘no more backbone than a chocolate éclair.’ The projects are interesting and accessible, with cautions to keep an adult nearby when necessary. Numerous black-and-white photos, insets, political cartoons, and illustrations break the text into manageable and interesting bits. A note to Roosevelt’s football-player son admonishing him to not sacrifice his studies for the game sounds like any parent. But the president was able to take his concerns further when he invited representatives from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to the White House to create a new set of rules resulting in the game as we know it today. Both useful and entertaining, this is a worthy addition to most collections.” (School Library Journal)