Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Reading 2016 Nice Work, Franklin!

Nice Work, Franklin!

"Do presidents have challenges? You'd better believe it." What a great way to start a book about a president who overcame some incredible challenges. Franklin, or FDR, overcame an incredible challenge when he was stricken with polio when he was thirty-nine. So many people died or were permanently lamed by the disease, but he worked and worked to strengthen his legs. He went on to be elected the governor of New York, because that job required brains and not legs. While he was busy trying to help the people of New York, the country got sick. The US didn't have polio, but it had the Great Depression. Franklin didn't let that stop him; he was elected president of the United States, and his motto of "Above all, TRY SOMETHING," was put to the test as he tried to help the country get better. He put many programs into place to help people find jobs and help the economy recover. When there were places he couldn't go very easily because of his legs, his wife Eleanor went instead. Just as his family had cheered him on when he was recovering from polio, Eleanor supported him in the presidency. And even though his legs were not as strong as they once were, he still made "big steps to help America."

Picture book biographies are an easy way to introduce famous people to younger students. They are short enough to be read-aloud during a class period. They have illustrations to capture the attention of young readers and help with words or concepts that may be unfamiliar. And they bring history to life for students. Books like this one can show what a particular historical period looked like through the clothing, cars, and other objects pictured. Nice Work, Franklin! also shows that even presidents were once children and had their own heroes and role models, as well as having to overcome their own challenges.

Highly recommended for elementary school students. Great for introducing a study of FDR or the Great Depression. The introduction and the Author's Note provide additional information about other presidents who faced challenges and about the results of all Franklin's programs to fight the economic problems of the Depression.

*Update 08/01/2016 We have added this book to the Fairview library.

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