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by Claudia Mills & illustrated by R.W. Alley

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 7th, 2007
ISBN: 0-374-30657-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Riley goes to school with Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Queen Elizabeth and many other world-famous figures—all fellow fourth-grade students researching their chosen topics for Mrs. Harrow’s biography tea. Riley is Teddy Roosevelt, and not only is he learning about Teddy Roosevelt, he’s being influenced by his can-do spirit. Riley may still lose things, like all of his notecards, but now he figures out how to get them back. He still wants the saxophone his mother can’t afford to get for him, but now he is determined to earn the money (after begging his mother failed). Mills writes with such a light, humorous touch that many scenes beg to be read aloud. Much information is subtly woven into the narrative, and the gathering of world leaders at the tea is a sight to behold. The black-and-white illustrations perfectly complement the humor of the story. A fine one-two punch with Jean Fritz’s Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt! (1991), the model for Riley’s report. (Fiction. 7-10)