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Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life Hardcover – October 1, 2005


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Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life + The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary + The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689865449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689865442
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 4-8–This presentation does for the longest-serving First Lady what Russell Freedman's Lincoln: A Photobiography (Clarion, 1987) did for an earlier inhabitant of the White House. While the arrangement is chronological from Roosevelt's parents' marriage to her own death, the narrative is not linear per se. Rather, each of the seven chapters leads readers through the subject's busy life with short sections of text filled with well-documented first-person accounts and direct quotes. Much of the story is told within the meaty sidebars covering supporting perspectives, enlightening details, and amusing anecdotes. Fleming is honest, respectful, and astute throughout, addressing both successes and controversies with balance (not to mention with candor, as when she approaches the issue of Eleanor's sexuality with the statement Was She or Wasn't She?). Not a spread goes by without incredible archival photographs or reproductions, newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten letters, and diary entries. Many of them have never been published in a book for young people, and they all provide relevant and fascinating insight. The title suggests an intimacy between reader and subject, which is strengthened by a design suggesting a family album. Pages are jam-packed with information in varying fonts and formats, yet still manage to remain clearly and logically laid out. Basic research tools include a time line, family tree, and extensive source notes. Enjoyably educational, Our Eleanor will be a core title in all collections for years to come.–Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. As in Fleming's Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life (2003), which was a 2004 Booklist Top 10 Biography, this takes a pastiche approach to humanizing a legendary life. Through anecdotes and archival photos drawn from an assortment of sources, Fleming invites readers into a camaraderie with the timid, neglected little girl who grew up to become the woman many nicknamed "copresident," and whose flouting of accepted gender roles earned her admiration and ridicule in equal measure. The details of Roosevelt's life are certainly riveting; however, Fleming's jigsaw-puzzle approach is probably best suited for use in conjunction with more traditional narratives, such as Russell Freedman's Newbery Honor Book Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery (1993). In terms of Roosevelt's sexuality, for instance, the frank details about Roosevelt's bonds with known lesbians appear 15 pages before a segment that asks "Was She Or Wasn't She?" (Answer: who knows?)--a structural choice that seems to encourage assumptions rather than heading them off. That said, a broad audience, including many adults, will be intrigued by the volume's photo-album immediacy. Those eager to gain perspectives from other biographers may be frustrated by a list of related books primarily geared to younger children, although multimedia resources and exhaustive source notes offer plenty of opportunities to extend this intimate, unvarnished, and ultimately deeply moving portrait. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good story that people always thought I was telling the truth. But I wasn't. I didn't have a three-legged cat or a ghost in my attic, and I'd certainly never been to Paris, France. I simply enjoyed telling a good story... and seeing my listener's reaction.

Sure, some people might have said I was a seven-year old fibber. But not my parents. Instead of calling my stories "fibs" they called them "imaginative." They encouraged me to put my stories down on paper. I did. And amazingly, once I began writing, I couldn't stop. I filled notebook after notebook with stories, poems, plays. I still have many of those notebooks. They're precious to me because they are a record of my writing life from elementary school on.

In second grade, I discovered a passion for language. I can still remember the day my teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." I said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips. I tested it on my ears. That afternoon, I skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, I really began listening to words--to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made me feel. I longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college where I discovered yet another passion--history. I didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones -- tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that's when I discovered the joy and music of children's books. I simply couldn't get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn't wait to get started.

But writing children's books is harder than it looks. For three years I wrote story after story. I sent them to publisher after publisher. And I received rejection letter after rejection letter. Still, I didn't give up. I kept trying until finally one of my stories was pulled from the slush pile and turned into a book. My career as a children's author had begun.

For more information visit my website: www.candacefleming.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Best biography I have ever read!
Portianay
Fleming creates a perfect balance between intriguing photographs and information.
Sarah's Picks
'I always had the feeling from a very young age that I was ugly,' Eleanor wrote.
Richie Partington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sherry York on August 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Until I read this biography, the name of Eleanor Roosevelt called to my mind a vague picture of a saintly woman who was married to FDR and who wrote magazine columns. After reading this outstanding scrapbook biography, I realize that this woman WAS the most influential woman in the history of our country. Fleming has presented much factual information about Eleanor and has arranged it to lead readers to a clear understanding of the character, personality, background, and motivations of this truly remarkable woman. The author presents relevant biographical information clearly and honestly, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. Fleming's straightforward presentation does not condescend to young readers. Refreshing and all too rare in its honesty, this is an exceptional biography of a multi-talented social activist. Although written for young readers, I recommend it for all readers, young and old.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
" 'I always had the feeling from a very young age that I was ugly,' Eleanor wrote. This feeling came from her mother, who often gazed at her daughter coolly, as if she couldn't imagine having such a plain-looking, solemn-faced daughter. Forced to wear a back brace to correct a curvature of the spine, Eleanor knew 'as a child knows these things,' that her mother was bitterly disappointed in her physical features. 'I can remember,' wrote Eleanor, 'standing in the door, very often with my finger in my mouth which was, of course, forbidden--and I can see the look in her eyes and hear the tone in her voice as she said: "Come in, Granny." If a visitor was there, she might turn and say, "She is such a funny child, so old-fashioned that we always call her Granny." I wanted to sink through the floor in shame.'

"Eleanor tried desperately to please her mother. Small as she was, she often sat and rubbed [her mother] Anna's temples for hours on end, easing her migraine headaches. 'The feeling that I was useful,' Eleanor later said, 'was perhaps the greatest joy I experienced.' "

In the manner of American Idol, AOL and the Discovery Channel have been conducting an online process to determine "The Greatest American." Happening upon the poll containing the Final Five last week, and reading aloud to Shari what was being done, she grumbled in response to the fact that the remaining contestants were all men. I haven't yet dared to tell her which of those five men has since taken the top spot, thanks to 2.4 million online voters with the wisdom to believe that Ronald Reagan was a greater America than was MLK, Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, or the dude with the wooden teeth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Fultz on March 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A perfectly written biography. Anyone interested in politics, women, American history, civil rights, human rights, and making a difference in the world MUST read this book. You will feel like you not only know her, but after reading, you'll feel that Eleanor is somewhere cheering you on in your life's endeavors as educators, librarians, sanitation workers, peacemakers, leaders, voters, human beings...

An incredible piece of writing about an awe-inspiring person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Portianay VINE VOICE on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
... but this one has been, for me.

I was actually moved to tears as I read some parts: Eleanor visiting troops in the South Pacific; Eleanor pleading for Israel's right to become a state, by 1948; her grief at Fala's death--what a foolish reporter, who commented that she was dry-eyed at FDR's death, but could weep when the dog died! Totally clueless person.

A monumental life, marked by all the human characteristics of failures, victories, heartaches, jubilations... she took little credit, and shouldered lots of blame.

I also find it noteworthy to look at the reactions of all the first ladies, after her, to Eleanor. Very telling, to my mind!

GREAT JOB! Best biography I have ever read!
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