Sunday, February 20, 2022

Review of "Eleanor," by Barbara Cooney

 Review of

Eleanor, by Barbara Cooney, ISBN 0439137365

Five out of five stars

The childhood of Eleanor Roosevelt

 One of the most influential and accomplished women in the history of the United States was Eleanor Roosevelt. During her time as First Lady, she seemed to be everywhere, she was a strong and vociferous champion of the poor and minorities. Due to President Franklin Roosevelt’s infirmity, she was his eyes and ears, traveling the world and even touring a coal mine in Appalachia. However, her childhood was not a happy one, and that is the subject of this book for children.

 The coverage is from the time of her birth to her late teen years, long before she became a public figure. The emphasis is on the difficulties she had, particularly the loneliness and constantly being reminded that she was not a physically attractive girl. Both her parents died when she was young and after that she was raised by relatives. As Roosevelt herself admitted, much of her advocacy for the poor and downtrodden was generated by what she experienced as a child.

 Born into privilege, Eleanor Roosevelt was a pioneer for woman in many ways. She is arguably the most transformative female figure in the history of the United States. Her list of firsts for women are impressive, including being the most hands-on First Lady in the history of the country. This book is an excellent rendition of the early years of her life and is an excellent resource for the study of the changing role of women in American society.

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