The Roosevelt Legacy: Books for Kids

The legacies of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt continue to impact individuals and families across the United States and around the world. These stories highlight those legacies, as well as experiences with people from all walks of life that shaped the Roosevelts. A number of these titles are well-suited for ELLs.

For additional children's titles, see Great Books About the Roosevelts from School Library Journal, as well as information and lesson plans related to the new PBS series from Ken Burns, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt

Age Level: 9-12

First-time author De Young uses her own family history to create a Depression-era story about first-generation Italian-Americans living in Johnstown, Pa., in 1933. Eleven-year-old Margo Bandini, her parents and young brother, Charlie, face losing their house if they do not find a way to pay back the bank loan used to cover hospital expenses for Charlie's emergency leg operation. In a letter, Margo appeals to Eleanor "Everywhere" Roosevelt, the person she admires most, for help...soon Margo receives a reply that restores her faith in miracles and resolves the crisis.

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 6-9

Two well known women sneak away from the White House for an aerial adventure in this handsomely illustrated story based on real people. Though fictionalized, readers will appreciate the common interests and similar personality traits of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

From Norvelt to Nowhere

Age Level: 9-12

This rocket-paced follow-up to the Newbery Medal—winning novel Dead End in Norvelt opens deep in the shadow of the Cuban missile crisis. But instead of Russian warheads, other kinds of trouble are raining down on young Jack Gantos and his utopian town of Norvelt in western Pennsylvania.

Remember Me: Tomah Joseph's Gift to Franklin Roosevelt

Illustrated by: Mary Beth Owens
Age Level: 6-9

Franklin Delano Roosevelt joyfully spent his boyhood summers on Campobello Island. It was there that he met Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy elder and former chief who made his living as a guide, birchbark canoe builder, and basketmaker. Authors Soctomah and Flahive imagine the relationship that developed between these two as Tomah Joseph taught young Franklin how to canoe and shared some of the stories and culture of his people.

Time For Kids: Eleanor Roosevelt

Age Level: 6-9

Meet Eleanor Roosevelt, one of America's most powerful first ladies. Learn about her youth and her career helping those less fortunate, as well as her leadership during the Second World War and in the creation of the United Nations.

Time For Kids: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Age Level: 6-9

Through his fireside chats, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the way the President interacted with his fellow Americans. He also led our country out of the Great Depression and through World War II, despite his physical disabilities. Readers will be amazed by his courage and his insight in developing Social Security and other innovative programs that still exist today.

Time For Kids: Theodore Roosevelt

Age Level: 6-9

Each day was an adventure for President Theodore Roosevelt. When he was a kid, he kept turtles in the bathtub and frogs under his cap. As an adult, he was a cowboy, a river explorer, and a big game hunter. Sometimes he would go on marches through deep puddles and icy rivers — just for fun! When Teddy became president, Americans were looking ahead with excitement to the twentieth century. Teddy's spirit and dreams helped make the United States one of the greatest countries in the world.