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A Boy Named FDR: How Franklin D. Roosevelt Grew Up to Change America Hardcover – December 28, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-This handsome picture-book biography explains how a pampered, privileged child grew up to be our 32nd president, serving longer than any other president in U.S. history. Krull tells readers, "He had long blond curls and wore dresses with fancy lace collars till he was almost six." His parents indulged his every wish and were quick to forgive any mischief, yet instilled a social conscience in their golden boy from an early age, urging him to "Help the helpless!" After a sheltered childhood of homeschooling, Franklin left for boarding school at age 14. Despite his parents' plans for him to be a gentleman like his father, he was inspired to enter the world of politics by the headmaster at Groton; his cousin Teddy; and his future wife, Eleanor. Stricken with polio at 39, Franklin struggled to regain his strength, reentering the political arena three years later. An epilogue explains the stock market crash, Great Depression, New Deal, fireside chats, and World War II. Filled with anecdotes and quotes, the text is concise and engaging, working well as a read-aloud or for independent reading. The rich, impressionistic oil and ink illustrations capture the spirit of the man and his time. Less wordy and more attractive than Judith St. George and Britt Spencer's Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt (Philomel. 2007), this offering also covers more of the subject's life. Famous quotations are appended.-Barbara Auerbach, PS 217, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Echoing the overall theme and presenting, by and large, the same material, this purposeful picture-book biography follows Judith St. George’s Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt (2007) in tracing FDR’s path from birth (“All children like to think they’re the center of their universe. But a boy named FDR really was”) and schooling (“When he was put in charge of a dorm, he was a good leader, compassionate toward the new boys—the way he wished he’d been treated”) into public life. Awarding nods to the early influences of parents, a particular tutor, a schoolmaster, and cousin Teddy’s “zesty leadership,” Krull closes with FDR’s triumphant 1924 return to public life after being stricken with polio, summarizes the accomplishments of his later presidency, and ends with a combined list of dates and quotations. The figures in the large illustrations have a staid look, but FDR strikes appropriately heroic poses, and his outsize personality comes through clearly. Despite being a little loose in its chronology, this makes an acceptable introduction to our longest-serving president. Grades 3-5. --John Peters
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375857168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375857164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

KATHLEEN KRULL is well known for her innovative, award-winning nonfiction for young readers, which includes the successful Lives of... series. Kathleen Krull lives in San Diego, CA. Visit her at www.kathleenkrull.com AND http://facebook.com/kathleen.krull

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This was a lengthy and informative picture book about FDR, focusing on his childhood but briefly covering other major events in his life on his way to the presidency; a fun read that didn't give that “biography” feel to it that some readers may avoid. The illustrations were stunning and perfect representation of the time. A Boy Named FDR will inspire students to do further research on this very affable man that called the White House home longer than any other.
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Format: Hardcover
Picture book biographies are a great way to introduce real people to the younger crowd. However, when using them, one needs to realize that they are not complete in any way (as if any biography could be), and they often tend to focus on the good points of the subject. Such is the case here. Krull does a nice job of giving the reader a look at FDR's privileged childhood. As an only child, FDR usually got what he wanted. His determined nature helped him weather rejection. I appreciated the writing which was easy to read and would be great for a read-a-loud. The illustrations help place the story in its historical setting. The timeline at the back is great for reports, as is the list of additional references. Overall, a good introduction to a very influential man and the characteristics and experiences that helped make him the man he became. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful picture book about FDR, and I will definitely keep this book handy in my classroom. It is very accessible and tells some great stories from the young FDR's life. The book ends when he becomes president. The pictures in the book are wonderful and tell a great story in themselves and help support the text very well. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
How did a boy who grew up in the most privileged of American households become one of our presidents who did the most for the "common man"? Award-winning nonfiction author Kathleen Krull attempts to provide some answers to this historical mystery in her picture book biography of FDR, which concentrates on his youth and early adulthood, before he became president. As she explains in her preface, FDR was the "ultimate rich kid," but one who is now ranked as one of our most inspirational presidents, due to his leadership during "two of our most frightening times," the Great Depression and World War II. Krull paints a verbal picture (accompanied by lovely illustrations done in oil in a traditional style) of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an infant and toddler, drinking literally out of a silver cup and wearing clothes with fancy lace collars. As a young boy he had his own pony and learned how to hunt and be a proper gentleman. He was so indulged by his parents, and when he got in trouble, his father would tell him, "consider yourself spanked."

From an early age, his parents and teachers tried to teach him to feel compassion for the less fortunate. We see him as a young child, handing out presents to the children of the Roosevelt household staff at Christmas, and accompanying his mother to hand out food to the poor. Later at school at Groton, his headmaster reinforced the lesson of helping the less fortunate, and encouraged young Franklin's interest in politics. Franklin even spent a summer working as a camp counselor teaching water sports at a camp for poor boys. Krull portrays Franklin's budding interest in politics, encouraged by cousin Teddy's win as president.
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A Boy Named FDR: How Franklin D. Roosevelt Grew Up to Change America
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