Gr 5 UpIt is unfortunate that Colbert's leaden prose and uninspired phrases do not do justice to her subject. Hoover was a dynamo throughout her childhood, adolescence, and adult life as wife of President Herbert Hoover and mother of two sons. She lived in Tientsin during the Boxer rebellion, Australia, Burma, and South America; was national president of the Girl Scouts; and actively supported many relief organizations. As First Lady, she worked to assist those who were destitute during the Great Depression and was despondent over the "Hoovervilles," or shanty towns, that sprang up bearing her beloved husband's name. There are no other children's books currently in print on this fascinating woman, but Lou Henry Hoover, edited by Dale Mayer (High Plains Publishing, 1994), is accessible to high school students. Black-and-white photos of uneven quality appear frequently throughout.Susan R. Farber, Ardsley Public Library, NY
Colbert delivers all the facts in this entry in the Notable Americans series, but the life she chronicles, though admirable, is more about duty than inspiration.
Lou Henry was taught from childhood that she could achieve anything she wanted to, and the lesson stuck. A strong-willed and independent child, she excelled in her studies, sports, and the arts. While at Stanford, she met a brilliant but shy fellow student, Herbert "Bert" Hoover; after marriage, Bert's career as a mining engineer led him all over the world, and his family followed. With the outbreak of WW I, Lou sent her sons back to the US while she and Bert remained in Europe to assist in the war effort, which brought him to the attention of several politicians. Back in the US, Bert embarked on a career in politics, culminating in his election to the presidency. Lou continued her good works after Bert's retirement, until her death in 1944. This is a serviceable biography of one of the unsung women of the era, but it's also dull, more of a laundry list of good works than the story of a person's life.