Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin: NY, 1993.
Newbery Honor 1994
Eleanor Roosevelt was unquestionably the most influential woman of her time. She still is one of the most inspirational. Raised in a very proper manner, expected to fulfill the traditional womanly role, Eleanor showed exceptional promise even as a girl in boarding school. From there her talents blossomed with her attempts to be useful - teaching and volunteering. In supporting her husband's career, she became a reporter, representing him in an official capacity when he could not be present and researching or spying on his behalf. In the process, she became a passionate advocate of the disadvantaged and oppressed. No cause too small and none too big. After FDR's death her influence extended throughout the world as a representative in the United Nations. Through much of her political life, she also maintained jobs teaching, writing, and hosting radio and TV shows. She was the first President's wife to have her own career and public life.
Russell Freedman's photobiography is, as usual, a wonderful book. Informative, fascinating, and inspiring. He has a flowing style that captures the importance of the moment and doesn't make you feel like you are reading boring history. Instead, you are reading about life.
The more I read of Eleanor, the more I admire her. I have only managed to read a small portion of her own work, about half of "My Day," 3 volumes of Eleanor's newspaper columns, plus half of an adult bio and a couple YA bios. Freedman's biography is fairly comprehensive of what I have read elsewhere. And it reminds me that I do want to read further, if I can find the time.
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