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Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  768 ratings  ·  117 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.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 14th 1997 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1993)
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Newbery Medal Honor Books
137th out of 312 books — 285 voters
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison WeirElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineEleanor Roosevelt by Russell FreedmanElla Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-IrvineEleanor Roosevelt by Shannon Donnelly
What's in a Name? Ella/Eleanor Books
2nd out of 17 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

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Linda
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
Gabriella
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
Meltha
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
Trinna
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
Nicole
NON-FICTION CATEGORY

Freedman did an excellent job weaving narrative in with the facts about Mrs. Roosevelt's incredible life. This book would be excellent for an child, girls especially, ages 10 and up. She is an inspiration. I particularly enjoyed his emphasis on the hardships of her early life: timid, mother calling her ugly, scared, etc. It only makes what she made of herself that much more remarkable. It did seem as though Freedman did not like President Roosevelt much as most reference to P
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Apzmarshl
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
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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
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Melissa
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
Michele
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
Recommends it for: unconventional but ordinary girls looking for a role model or a hero
SUMMARY
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
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Danielle
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
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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
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Jill
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
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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
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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.
Katrina
This is a children's biography and Newberry honor book. It is the story of the life and achievements of Elanor Roosevelt. This book was very factual and non-biased, stating the straight fact about her life. It is appropriate for people of all ages. The portrayal of this remarkable woman sets up a wonderful role model for young girls to aspire to be. It is easy to get through and keeps you interested, unlike many nonfiction books.
Christopher
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
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Adam
Summary:
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.

Critique:
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
Dana
Even thought it's geared to middle-school aged kiddos, I enjoyed this. I knew very little about Eleanor Roosevelt and this was a nice, quick snapshot of her life. I'm not normally a history buff, but I love biographies. I'm now interested in learning more about her on an adult level. If you have younger kids, this is a good one for them to read.
Miriam
russell freedman has produced yet another great biography for middle schoolers. lots of facts interspersed with inside tidbits -- just what tweens love. enough photos that the number of pages shouldn't scare a reluctant reader. index, but no glossary or suggested web sites.
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
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Amy
I did not realize that I knew so little about Eleanor Roosevelt. I am so amazed by her now. Picked this book up at the book fair at my kids' school. It is an easy nonfictional read; it reads a bit like a newspaper. I hope that I can get Ella to read this book.
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.
Sophia Ungar
I enjoyed the pictures a lot. I think it's not so well written that I would read it again cover to cover, but it was interesting knowing about her whole life, not just what she was famous for.
Drew
Apr 22, 2015 Drew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: awsome
İ Have never read such a book filled with so much inspiration from one person. İt is alife changing book that willpush you to be better at this game of life
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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 The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane The War to End All Wars: World War I

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