Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Eleanor

Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable LifeOur Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life by Candace Fleming

AR Reading Level: 8.0
On the library stacks: YA Non-fiction
Awards: SLJ Best Book; VOYA Award/Honor; ALA Best Book for Young Adults; ALA Notable/Best Books

Recommended for: Ages 12+

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading The Lincolns last year, I've had this one high up on on my TBR list. Similar in style to The Lincolns, this book contains letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and other mementos from the life of Eleanor Roosevelt.

This is a truly fascinating book that I really enjoyed reading. The weird thing is that I like Eleanor significantly less now than when I started the book! Eleanor was not a good mother to her 5 children, had a passive-aggressive relationship with her mother-in-law, ignored FDR while she pursued her own political goals, and she was an anti-Semite. At the same time, however, she was a champion of the poor, the aged, (most) minorities, servicemen, the homeless and the unemployed. Many of the government welfare programs of today stem from her encouragement during FDR's unprecedented 3+ terms in the White House.

I had a few minor quibbles with the book. It needed a little more editing. Sometimes the same fact would appear just pages apart, as if we had never learned it before. Also, there were parts where I felt like the author's personal feelings got in the way. Her assumptions of what was good or bad about Eleanor, particularly in regard to political views, might not be the same for every person.

This is resource is a gem. Eleanor's influence on the world is legendary. Even though I may disagree with some of her political and moral views, I can't help but respect many of her amazing accomplishments. I would caution that this book should only be given to kids who are mature enough to handle discussions of FDR's marital infidelities and the question of Eleanor's own faithfulness and sexual preferences.

Also reviewed by: Gamila's Book Review ~ Through the Looking Glass

Book 81 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 38 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge, Book 22 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge

Source: Library


bermudaonion said...

I love the way the material is presented in that book. I do think a lot of powerful movers and shakers sacrifice their home lives in order to do all that they do. (I hope the way that I said that makes sense.)

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds very interesting indeed. I have always known that Eleanor had a remarkable life but must confess that I know little about it. Maybe this is the place to start...

thanks indeed for posting


Veens said...

Wow,I would definitely like to give this a try!