Being Teddy Roosevelt
Claudia Mills / R. W. ALley

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover/89 pages
ISBN: 0-374-30657-5
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"The reader learns about working toward a goal . . ."

Being Teddy Roosevelt by Claudia Mills is written from the point of view of fourth-grader Riley O’Rourke, a boy who is assigned a report on the twenty-sixth president.


Riley, feels he is never in control of his life, feels inspired by Roosevelt’s attitude. After band day Riley wants desperately to play saxophone, but he learns his mother didn’t have the money to rent one. Riley makes a list of ways to get the money himself, because that’s what Teddy Roosevelt would have done.

Adopting Roosevelt’s attitude does not immediately enable Riley to control of all aspects his life—he loses his library book and his note cards —but he does work at solving his problems himself like Teddy Roosevelt would have done.

The story is fast-paced, and the reader learns about working toward a goal (the saxophone) and finishing a project (the report) with a little history about Teddy Roosevelt thrown in as well.

Reviewer: Denise Lowe