- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
School Library Journal
The appeal of this title lies in its folksy recounting of Roosevelt's very full life. That folksiness, however, sometimes gets in the way of strict nonfiction by including the author's personal opinions (our current day is termed the "dark and stormy 21st century"), uncited quotes (Which rancher wrote down "hasten forward quickly there" when TR called it out?), and fictionalized thoughts and incidents. A time line trails the bottom of the book's pages, highlighting major world events that occurred during Roosevelt's lifetime, but it does so independently from the text above it. For example, where the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 is mentioned, the time line is stuck in 1889, so readers attempting to make a connection between the two may be confused. Black-ink drawings are copious-and based on material Harness used to "visualize" the scenes, basically amounting to a fictionalizing of the illustrations as well, and the maps and family tree are crowded and difficult to interpret. The straight facts about the man are correct, though, and this is a balanced account, as the author points out some ironies in Roosevelt's life, such as the fact that although he was a great conservationist, he used an elephant foot as a wastebasket. So while not the soundest biography, this is more enjoyable than most series titles, and readers will come away knowing and understanding the man and his times.
—Andrew MedlarCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.