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FRANKLIN & ELEANOR by Cheryl Harness


by Cheryl Harness & illustrated by Cheryl Harness

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-525-47259-2
Publisher: Dutton

“The story of Franklin and Eleanor is a story of overcoming,” Harness writes, and in developing that theme, she pays heartfelt tribute to two lives united by a dedication to service. Opening with a Roosevelt family tree, the author tells their tales in parallel passages—how shy ugly-duckling Eleanor only slowly threw off the influences of a disappointed mother and an overbearing mother-in-law, while Franklin’s stubborn battle with polio “taught the young prince of Springwood humility and an understanding of what it was like to be helpless.” She illustrates with unusually restrained (for her) foreground scenes, flanked by pale, accurate portraits that trace the two principals from youth to old age. The closing resource list is aimed at older readers, but younger ones will come away with a clear sense of the personal qualities that Franklin and Eleanor brought to their partnership, and why, for their accomplishments, they “will always stand tall in the story of their country.” (Picture-book biography. 9-11)