Being Teddy Roosevelt
Author: Claudia Mills; Illustrator: R.W. Alley
Pages: 96
Publisher/Date: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/2007
ISBN: 0374306575
Age Levels: 7-10

Book Review

More than anything, nine-year-old Riley O'Rourke wants to play the saxophone in music class. Unfortunately, Riley’s mom cannot afford to buy or rent an instrument for the boy.

In the meantime, Riley's fourth-grade class is busy preparing for a biography tea in which students will attend dressed as the famous people they have researched and written about. Riley is assigned Teddy Roosevelt.

As Riley reads about the explorer, soldier, and President with the can-do attitude, he begins to set goals and see possibilities where once he thought none existed. The boy eventually saves nearly half the money needed for a second-hand instrument. When he finds out the saxophone he was saving for has been sold to someone else, he feels defeated.
He wasn't Teddy Roosevelt . . . He couldn't charge up a hill in war, or be elected president, or dig the Panama Canal. He couldn’t even get himself a saxophone so he could do fourth-grade instrumental music.
All is not lost, however. When Riley's friends find out about his problem, they rally around and help him come up with a Roosevelt-like solution.

R. W. Alley's charming black-and-white drawings complement the story perfectly. Being Teddy Roosevelt is an engaging chapter book about friendship, setting goals, and the importance of never giving up.

Classroom Uses: Perfect for established chapter book readers. Boys will find this title appealing.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2007 Education Oasis

About the Author

Claudia Mills lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is the author of the popular 7 x 9 = Trouble!, an ALA Notable Book.
Be sure to visit the author's website.

About the Illustrator

R.W. Alley is the illustrator of Ziggy's Blue-Ribbon Day by Claudia Mills. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island. Visit Mr. Alley's website to view his portfolio.