Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A natural follow-up to Freedman's biography of FDR, this impeccably researched, highly readable study of one of this country's greatest First Ladies is nonfiction at its best. As a role model for girls and an inspiration to both genders, Eleanor Roosevelt remains unsurpassed. Freedman relates how she transcended both an unhappy childhood (her parents separated when she was six; her mother died when Eleanor was eight, and her father, an alcoholic, died two years later) and a timid nature to become one of the most outspoken, vigorous, highly regarded women in history. The vast range of her interests and activities--journalism, politics and social activism--becomes even more remarkable as the author deftly considers Eleanor Roosevelt's times and her social milieu. Approximately 140 well-chosen black-and-white photos amplify the text. Freedman writes both authoritatively and compellingly, and the Eleanor that emerges is a complex, flesh-and-blood individual, not a dull heroine of textbook history. He also deals plainly with some of the more sordid aspects of the Roosevelts' married life (namely FDR's infidelity), but he never sensationalizes, and his honesty and candor signal his respect for his subject and for his readers. This biography cannot be recommended highly enough. Ages 9-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Beth Shotwell-Valeo
As wife of the 32nd President of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was the first President's wife to have an independent role-as spokeswoman for the powerless and downtrodden. She wrote a daily syndicated column expressing her views. After her husband's death, she served as one of the first delegates to the United Nations. She also hosted one of the first interview programs on television. Eleanor's life is a lively story of one woman's courage and dedication. The well-researched text is perfectly complemented with photographs. A Newbery Honor Book and Horn Book Fanfare award recipient.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
In one of 1993's best biographies, Russell Freedman chronicles the life of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962). As America's First Lady she was both official hostess and avid champion of human rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to work for peace and earned the title "First Lady of the World." Mr. Freedman's selection of 125 archival photographs, which show Mrs. Roosevelt with family, friends, and at work, illustrate a work that captures both the private and public side of this greatly admired woman.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Truly a lofty standard by which all First Ladies are judged, this distant cousin and wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, was raised in luxury, the serious and plain child of society parents. This is a lengthy account of Eleanor Roosevelt, written for better readers. Her life is an inspiration to youngsters urging them to rise above that which is expected of them to the greatest heights. Champion of the tired and poor, Mrs. Roosevelt, like Lady Liberty, lit lamps against ignorance and prejudice that still burn today.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Russell Freedman's photobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt is a paean to this remarkable First Lady's achievements. Despite her shyness and insecurities, she became one of the most admired women of the century. A Newbury Honor Book, 1994, it is an excellent gift for adults, too.
The ALAN Review - Kay Parks Bushman
Freedman has created a high-interest, easily readable, inspirational work on this former first lady, focusing on her tragic and lonely childhood; her secret courtship by Franklin; their changing relationship over the years; her domination by her mother-in-law; and her maturation into a confident, self-reliant, committed, and serving American woman. The text is filled with excerpts from Eleanor's journals as well as numerous photographs throughout her years, which should provide not only a personal connection between Eleanor and the young adult readers but also a motivation through her accomplishments for today's young people to gain strength to overcome some obstacles of their own.