Book Review of Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Laurie Calkhoven
Illustrated by Debbie Palen
Ages 8-12 | 128 Pages
Publisher: One Elm Books | ISBN: 978-1-947159-18-1
What to Expect: Realism, school story, friendship.
Roosevelt doesn’t mean to be a “bad” kid. It’s just that all the best ideas—like burping during silent reading, pretending to be a zombie and scaring the girls at lunch, and demonstrating bike safety by sending your bike down a hill to crash with a melon strapped into a bike helmet riding it—do seem to involve getting in trouble. The bike experiment may have made a winning science fair project, but it also made Roosevelt’s parents so angry that they refused to buy him a new bike.
Now that his two best friends are planning the biking-camping trip of the century, though, Roosevelt will have to get a new bike or risk being left behind—and that will mean being good for two whole weeks. Will he manage it, or will Eddie Spaghetti steal his place on the trip and his friends?
Perfect for second- to third-grade-level readers, Roosevelt Banks is funny, relatable, and engaging. Roosevelt himself has a lively voice and internal monologue that makes him realistic, inviting readers to step into his shoes as he negotiates the seemingly nonsensical decisions of parents and teachers and the sometimes-hurtful actions of his friends and classmates. Laurie Calkhoven portrays the politics of the schoolyard sensitively, without concealing the fact that children can be thoughtless and cruel to one another, but also emphasizing the importance of empathy and care for others.
Readers are sure to be glad when Roosevelt earns his reward at the end of the story and may pick up some helpful strategies for friendship management along the way.
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About the Author
Laurie Calkhoven has never swallowed a frog or sung too loud in music class, but she is the author of many books for young readers. Laurie lives in New York City.
About the Illustrator
Debbie Palen works in watercolor, colored pencils, pastels, and many, many Q-tips which can be found scattered all over her Cleveland, Ohio, studio.
Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training, written by Laurie Calkhoven and illustrated by Debbie Palen, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training by following our reviews and articles tagged with school and friendship.
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