Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Laurence Luckinbill
Adapted & Illustrated by Eryck Tait
Dead Reckoning, 2021
Grades 8-Up
Graphic Non-fiction

Based on the author's one-man play, the life of Teddy Roosevelt is explored through a speech he actually gave to the Republican State Convention in Saratoga when he was 61 years old. Roosevelt and his wife were informed the day before that his youngest son, Quentin, was killed in World War I. Now he is addressing the convention, stressing the need for America to be strong, defeat the enemy overseas and rise to the occasion as the best and boldest country in the world. As Roosevelt delivers his speech he travels back in time and readers see his life unfold with all of its struggles and achievements. Roosevelt's opinions and accomplishments are seen through both a historically cultural lenses and a modern one, helping today's youth to understand both the times and the man behind the legend.

Who can help but be attracted to the charismatic Teddy Roosevelt? I have always found him interesting, but beyond his time with the Rough Riders, his contribution to the National Parks, and servicing as an inspiration to the teddy bear, I knew very little. Now I know so many interesting tidbits and contributions, including his journey from sickly child to wild-west rancher to fearless soldier. What a guy! You may agree with some of what he is about and strongly disagree with other aspects, but everyone has to admit that he is far from wishy-washy. The story is compelling and will attract readers and keep them turning pages. The time jumps are clear and not confusing, making this a great choice for reports for struggling students. The comic format makes the book an easy sell and kids will learn as they are entertained, thinking they are reading for their own enjoyment. Though not in full-color, the illustrations are highlighted in slate-blue and have a super-hero vibe to them. My only complaint is the lack of source notes or suggestions for further reading. A great book that will appeal to a variety of readers who will be challenged with the question, "what do I stand for?"

No comments:

Post a Comment