Sunday, January 22, 2006

Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life

Fleming, Candace. 2005. OUR ELEANOR: A SCRAPBOOK LOOK AT ELEANOR ROOSEVELT’S REMARKBLE LIFE. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689865449 [Suggested Grade Levels 6 and up]

After considering Eleanor Roosevelt’s life and dedication to humanity, Harry Truman remarked, "I told her she was the first lady of the world." Working from her papers, correspondence, and family archives, Fleming’s standout biography chronicles the life and career of Roosevelt while providing readers a sensitive and personal account of her rich life.

Fleming’s extensively researched biography of Roosevelt offers readers a powerful, insightful, and dramatic narrative which is highly engaging. Though the format and style is somewhat unconventional, the scrapbook design allows readers to search out details of interest. Fleming uses each double-page spread as a separate unit with alternating types of body copy. Whether using a longer essay or a short chunk of information accompanied by visual material, the effect offers immediacy for the reader and provides the opportunity to intimately connect to Roosevelt’s life . Another strength of the work is attention to source material; Fleming turns to primary source documents as her chief sources, using copious primary and secondary materials to frame the biography. Carefully selected photographs offer an intimate look at this legendary historical figure and Fleming presents a realistic Roosevelt—complex, yet imperfect. Other documents which enrich the pages of this offering include newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten letters, and diary entries.

Readers researching Eleanor Roosevelt could compare two different biographical sources for details of the former first lady’s life and accomplishments. After completing the research, they could create a visual documentation of what they learned by utilizing Power Point, highlighting both similarities and differences.

Other stories about the Eleanor Roosevelt:
Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick. A VERY SPECIAL FIRST LADY. ISBN 0761326235
Winget, Mary. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT. ISBN 0822546752

By Rose Brock

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