Eleanor Makes Her Mark

Scholastic. Oct. 2020. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545826129.
Gr 2-5–Kerley and Fotheringham (What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!) team up again for this biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. Kerley sprinkles the narrative with sourced quotes, including, “Government, Eleanor believed, ‘should serve the good of the people,’ so she encouraged everyone to write to her and share their struggles, hopes, and fears.” Fotheringham’s cartoon-style illustrations are digitally rendered in a colorful, realistic palette. He depicts a likable Roosevelt, highlighting her pronounced cheekbones and ready smile. Motion lines show her constant activity—riding in a coal mine car, visiting with construction workers, flying to World War II field hospitals. Some pages even show multiple Roosevelts, representing her whirlwind of activity. A recurring theme is a paper doll chain—a reminder of Roosevelt’s connectedness to all Americans and her humanitarian efforts. A scrapbook, sources, and engaging activities are included in the back matter. Although secondary characters are drawn as predominately white, the illustrations show Roosevelt meeting with African American citizens and leaders to discuss how to end discrimination.
VERDICT There are many titles about Eleanor Roosevelt, but with its encouragement for readers to make their own marks upon the world, this book could be a necessary source of inspiration.

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