Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery
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Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  612 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The intriguing story of Eleanor Roosevelt traces the life of the former First Lady from her early childhood through the tumultuous years in the White House to her active role in the founding of the United Nations after World War II. A Newberry Honor Book.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 15th 1993 by Clarion Books (first published 1993)
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i didn't know much about eleanor roosevelt before this reading. i was impressed with the fact that although she was born into great wealth, she had a dark childhood. her father, whom she idolized, was an alcoholic (my gosh, have i read a memoir or biography this year that didn't have an alcoholic father in it?)and she always felt her plain, if not ugly looks made her a disappointment to her mother, a socialite beauty. she was a shy, frightened child, and i delighted in reading how she eventually...more
Do you consider heroes being people that save millions of lives and have super powers? Or, do you consider heroes people that brake world records or do supernatural things? One of my heroes was a first lady for 16 years, she was not amazingly beautiful but she was very brave and kindhearted... her name was Eleanor Roosevelt. Her biography caught my attention as soon as I set eyes on it and just by reading it I learned what a hero really is. Russell Freedman showed Eleanor as a hero through thre...more
This was mentioned in the children's literature textbook I'm using as an example of a good junior high to high school level biography. I actually found it in the regular, adult section of my library rather than the young adult section, and I really don't see that this would be condescending to an adult audience at all. It's a very good, highly well researched, and engaging biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, who I admit to not having know a great deal about prior to reading this. What a very interes...more
Inspiring book, inspiring woman. I have learned so much from reading about her life. She had so many hard things happen in her life and yet she was so selfless and thought only of others. Great book, lots of pictures. I wish they would make a great movie about her life!
The Reading Countess
An unflinchingly honest history of a life well lived, Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery had me flinching at the young and timid ER and applauding the woman she grew into later in her life. While this biography is intended for the middle grade set, I was both surprised as well as impressed at the truth of the cracked relationship Eleanor had with her husband after discovering his years-long adulterous affair with his social secretary as well as the frankness about her thirty year relationshi...more
I knew nothing of Eleanor Roosevelt before this book, including that she married her cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so her name never changed.
Mrs. Roosevelt packed so much into one lifetime. Her youth was unhappy. She was shy, frightened, and according to her own mother, not very pleasing to the eye.
My favorite quote from her that left me feeling very connected to her story...."About the only value the story of my life may have, is to show that one can, even without any particular gifts, ov...more
Jen Ozburn
I loved this book.

Since Eleanor's life was quite complex and complicated, I would think it a challenge to present her life to young readers, yet Freedman narrates with both a look at the failures and successes of arguably the first "working" first lady. Personally I am drawn to this book since the heroine is an example of a tireless reformer and social worker. I especially love that she was instrumental in writing the International Bill of Human Rights.

Reading this book made me appreciative of...more
Eleanor Roosevelt stands out among contemporary First Ladies. She had a troubled childhood, losing her mother to Diphtheria when she was only 8 and then her alcoholic father died less than two years later. She and her siblings were left to her maternal grandmother who could barely manage her own dysfunctional adult children. Despite Eleanor's profound heartache and the constant reminders of her own lack of beauty, Eleanor thrived in a private finishing school in London and eventually returned to...more
Before I began this book, I knew very little about Eleanor Roosevelt. I knew a lot of people picked quotes of her's for their yearbook blurbs, and she was the wife of a president, and that's about as far as it went. I'm embarrassed that I didn't learn about her before! I am constantly regretting that I didn't pay more attention and actually do more of the reading for my social studies classes growing up. Now I'm prepared to answer a Jeopardy category about Eleanor's life and humanitarian passion...more
Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: unconventional but ordinary girls looking for a role model or a hero
This is the story of Eleanor Roosevelt. She would have described herself as a plain, ordinary woman, but she was many things even if she was ordinary. She was a humanitarian above all else, and she was a political activist, and advocate of human rights. The story illustrates her childhood and family life with her grandmother after being orphaned, her marriage to Franklin D. Roosevelt, her 16 years as First Lady, and her Good Works as a woman role model who wore many hats in the public eye...more
Amanda Delegram
Summary: Elanor Roosevelt was a very plain looking woman with an extraordinary personality. She spent her life helping other as much as possible and fighting for her own independence. She was very much opposed to her husband being president however she made the best out of a situation that was not so ideal to her.

Critique: Eleanor Roosevelt is a very interesting person and I believe that your readers would be interested in learning how she grew up and eventually became the first lady. The autho...more
This book is all about Eleanor Roosevelt's life. It goes through her life as a child to being the First lady when her husband became president. Eleanor made a lot of changes for the first lady, which is why they have more privledges today.

I'm not sure how interested young readers will be in Eleanor Roosevelt's life, but it is still a good topic that they should be introduced to. The book is large and has a lot of pages to read for children, so they may not become as interested once they see the...more
Alan Chen
Overall, this book is very readable, though it suffers from a lack of direction. There are simply too many personalities, stories and events that occur for a casual reader to keep up with without making notes. People such as Eleanor's many friends will accompany her for life and weave in and out of the story without warning. The author cannot be blamed for the fullness of his subject's life, but I wish he could have found a way to present it better. The only consistency in Eleanor's life is that...more
Nicole White
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman

1. Genre: Biography

2. Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery is a comprehensive, thorough biography about the former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. This book gives details about Eleanor’s difficult childhood all the way through to her ascension to the White House.

3. a. Area for Comment: Accuracy and Completeness

b. The information presented in this book is not only accurate and factual, but it is presented in a way that draws the reader i...more
Another great biography by Russell Freedman, the Ken Burns of the literary world.

"Franklin's encounter with polio changed him. For the first time in his life, he had suffered the agonies of pain and terror in a way that he had never imagined possible. He had discovered what it was like to be weak and helpless, to be totally dependent on others. "Franklin's illness proved a blessing in disguise," wrote Eleanor, "for it gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out the...more
Mary Harris
Citation: Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery, by Russell Freedman. (Sandpiper, 1997). 208 p. Biography
Genre: Junior Book – Biography
Summary: This book is about the late president Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor. The book chronicles her early years through her years as first lady in the White House.
A. I thought the book was very interesting. As a history major I always knew a lot about her husband, however, I never really knew much about Eleanor Roosevelt.
B. Freedman does an excellent job telling...more
Kayla Sveen
I thought Eleanor's life was filled with many memories and moments of trouble and moments of happiness. I did not know very much about her life, now I feel like I know her whole story. This book by Russell Freedman received the Newberry Award. I was interested in reading about Eleanor Roosevelt. I read it all in one day. I thought that even though she believed her life was simple, she left an impact on the whole nation with all the things she did for the United States as a country.
This may be my favorite Russell Freedman book. The research and the attention he pays to his subject is nothing short of amazing. He has perfectly made an important complex person in history accessible to a younger audience. I enjoyed the photo album at the end plus the back matter about where kids/families can visit to learn more about the Roosevelts. This biography still holds up after twenty years.
Ashlie Covington
This book is all about Eleanor Roosevelt's life. It goes through her life as a child to being the First lady when her husband became president. Eleanor made a lot of changes for the first lady, which is why they have more privledges today.

I didnt know much prior to me reading this book but after reading it I have so much respect for this woman. She is such a romodel for young woman and has helped mold the first lady life style for future first ladies.

I dont really think children will enjoy this...more
This is a biography about a woman named Elanor Roosevelt, and she was an important figure when it comes to women's rights. She dedicated her whole life to trying to get equal treatment between men and women.

In this book the author does an exceptional job as passing Elanor as an ordinary woman and not the wide to the president of the United States. The information in this story were told very well and were very accurate. This book does a great job of keeping the reader interested...more
Minji Cho
I think this is an educational, informative, and inspiring book. It would give readers a great chance to get to know the life story of Eleanor Roosevelt, not just her life as a first lady but a determined, strong, and bright person. I liked that she is a historian figure but a recent one, so that children would have a chance to make personal connections between their own lives and hers. The pictures are also supportive.
Unit of Raine
A general timeline and biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. Followed the similar path to the other biography I'd read, with many of the same photos.

I wonder if because her autobiography, columns, letters, etc are all published that few biographies have any additional or new information. It is mentioned that both she and Franklin were very careful and cognizant of their written legacy and thus, wrote accordingly. It is also mentioned that the majority of the people involved in their salacious inciden...more
Sandy Neal
A wonderful biography of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Lots of photos, lots of history without being stuffy and boring. How a woman made a life for herself in circumstances she would not have chosen.
I have a greater respect for this woman after reading about her life. It is inspirational to see a woman "come to life" in her later years and dedicate herself to the improvement of civilization.
Excellent short little biography that did what I expected, which is go in search of something more in-depth on this incredible woman.
Danita Vanregenmorter
I like it but i wouldn't give this to young children because they would loose interest quick. This book has a lot of information.
This was our first mother/daughter book club choice and what a great one! Eleanor Roosevelt is a truly inspiring woman and a real role model for girls. My daughter is always pointing out Eleanor facts and quotes now.
This is a simple, easy to read biography of an amazing and awe inspiring woman. I am speechless, really, at all that I learned about her life - and all that she has accomplished. So much of what we have today (women's rights, racial integration, care of the poor, minimum wages, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, etc, etc) is because of her work and influence.

What I take away from reading about her life is that no life is too small or insignificant to matter and that each of us should work for...more
I learned a lot about her life as well as some history. I felt sad that she was betrayed by her husband. I did like that she accomplished so much for human rights and women's suffrage. Freedman writes in an informative yet easy to read style.

Some pages that stood out to me:
p. 24 Mllve. Sovestre shocked me into thinking.
p. 106 1930's liberalism came to mean using government action to expand choices available to the poor and thw powerless
Now liberalism means socialist, democrat, and debt
This was an educational book that wasn't boring or tediously laden with facts. I was interested in seeing how Eleanor Roosevelt conducted her life and this book offered a broad outlook on her experiences and personality. I liked the fusion of photographs throughout the book. I also liked how the book did not focus on her relationship as a First Lady, but on what she believed was right and how she strived to live her life.

*Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2010...
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Russell Freedman is the award-winning author of 47 books, some of which have been translated into a diverse number of languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Flemish, Arabic and Bengali. But Freedman wasn't always a children's book writer.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Pre...more
More about Russell Freedman...
Lincoln: A Photobiography The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards)) The War to End All Wars: World War I The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane

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