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Being Teddy Roosevelt by Claudia Mills
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Being Teddy Roosevelt

by Claudia Mills

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Fourth-grader Riley O’Rourke desperately wants to learn how to play the saxophone. Unfortunately, Riley only has $5.50 to his name, and his mother cannot afford to buy – or even rent – a saxophone for him. When his teacher assigns a biography book report and Riley selects Teddy Roosevelt as his subject, Riley learns about a president who didn’t let obstacles stand in his way. With Roosevelt’s bully spirit as an inspiration, Riley begins brain-storming ways he can earn and save money to buy himself a used saxophone. But there aren’t many jobs out there for a fourth-grader…

This chapter book presents children with a protagonist who faces obstacles head-on and finds ways to meet his goals. He is surrounded by a colorful cast of characters in his schoolmates, who also learn and grow based on the inspiration found in their biography book report subjects – Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth I, and Helen Keller. The concepts of problem-solving, perseverance, and friendship are all on display in this book, along with economic concepts as the children pool their ideas and resources together to help Riley obtain his saxophone. Whether it is running a yard sale and donating the proceeds to the saxophone fund or simply lending support when confronting the music teacher with a question on instrument lessons, everyone comes through for Riley in the end to help him attain his dream.

http://econkids.rutgers.edu/older-children-and-young-adults-2007-and-earler/2109...
  EconKids | Feb 19, 2012 |
Fourth-grader Riley O’Rourke desperately wants to learn how to play the saxophone. Unfortunately, Riley only has $5.50 to his name, and his mother cannot afford to buy – or even rent – a saxophone for him. When his teacher assigns a biography book report and Riley selects Teddy Roosevelt as his subject, Riley learns about a president who didn’t let obstacles stand in his way. With Roosevelt’s bully spirit as an inspiration, Riley begins brain-storming ways he can earn and save money to buy himself a used saxophone. But there aren’t many jobs out there for a fourth-grader…

This chapter book presents children with a protagonist who faces obstacles head-on and finds ways to meet his goals. He is surrounded by a colorful cast of characters in his schoolmates, who also learn and grow based on the inspiration found in their biography book report subjects – Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth I, and Helen Keller. The concepts of problem-solving, perseverance, and friendship are all on display in this book, along with economic concepts as the children pool their ideas and resources together to help Riley obtain his saxophone. Whether it is running a yard sale and donating the proceeds to the saxophone fund or simply lending support when confronting the music teacher with a question on instrument lessons, everyone comes through for Riley in the end to help him attain his dream.

I reviewed this book for EconKids. Read the full review here: http://econkids.rutgers.edu/older-children-and-young-adults-2007-and-earler/2109... ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jan 6, 2012 |
Riley is in fourth grade and he just can’t seem to get things together. He really wants to learn the saxophone, but his mom doesn’t have enough money to rent one so he can begin lessons. As he begins to work on his biography report on Teddy Roosevelt, Riley becomes inspired by who Teddy Roosevelt is . His entire class is learning about their historical figures, and I like how an actual assignment is incorporated into the story. Riley learns to overcome obstacles and find ways around them, and Mills does a great job adding those lessons in without making the book too didactic. Riley was embarrassed to ask for any special deal on the saxophone, but when he and his classmates go together to ask the music teacher, he finds a solution that works for all of them. This is an easy chapter book, with lots of illustrations. It is interesting and teaches about many historical figures at the same time. It was fun to read – Mills does a great job with young chapter books. ( )
  YouthGPL | Oct 29, 2010 |
Fun story of a boy who must research the former president and portray him at a tea. His passion, though, is finding a way to play the sax. ( )
  GaylDasherSmith | Sep 8, 2010 |
"Fourth-grader Riley O'Rourke wants to play saxophone in instrumental music, but his mother can't afford to rent one. He can't possibly make enough money to buy one, and, even if he could, Mom might not let him, "because he was having enough trouble getting his regular homework done."...Children will appreciate this gentle lesson about achieving a goal..'
From NoveList (Reviewed March 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 3, p182)
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  readingtodogs | Aug 15, 2008 |
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Riley O'Rourke's friend Grant Littleton is given a video game every time he earns an A.  Riley doesn't get A's, but even if he did, he certainly wouldn't receive rewards.  Riley
s mom can' afford presidents.  Not that Riley minds, until he discover the saxophone.  At school, Riley is reading about Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth grade biography tea.  He can't help wondering what Teddy would have done if he'd wanted something very badly and his family hadn't been able to buy it for him Riley thinks he knows.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374306575, Hardcover)

Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to get a saxophone so he can take instrumental music. His mother can't afford to rent him a sax, and he's sure he'll never save up enough money to buy one. But as Riley learns more about Roosevelt's "bully" spirit, he realizes that there just might be a way to solve his problem after all.
 
Claudia Mills' sparkling story about the influence of important historical figures is enhanced by tender, insightful illustrations.
 
Being Teddy Roosevelt is a 2008 Bank Street—Best Children's Book of the Year.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When he is assigned Teddy Roosevelt as his biography project in school, fourth-grader Riley finds himself inspired by Roosevelt's tenacity and perseverance and resolves to find a way to get what he most wants--a saxophone and music lessons.

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