by Barbara Cooney

Hardcover, 1996



Call number



Viking Juvenile (1996), Edition: Library Binding, 40 pages


Presents the childhood of Eleanor Roosevelt, who married a president of the United States and became known as a great humanitarian.

User reviews

LibraryThing member messelti
Barbara Cooney’s Eleanor is the story of how the young, shy, and serious Eleanor Roosevelt eventually became the brave, independent, and hard-working First Lady who fearlessly advocated for human rights and helped establish the United Nations. This book is a strange combination of a simple plot for a young audience written so subtly as to be a bit inaccessible-I mean, what elementary school student knows what a “nosegay” is? It stops just short of her more well-known years, serving as an origin story that might not really reel in anyone not already very interested in Eleanor Roosevelt. Recommended as a compliment to other Eleanor Roosevelt biographies in public or school libraries.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kathdavis54
I did not know most of this about Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood. The story was easy to follow, while the illustrations did a good job of showing emotions.
LibraryThing member CjWilson
This story is about the younger days of Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt is seen as one of the greatest first ladies of all time because of her human rights work. The story depicts Eleanor's life just before her famous days. This is a great story to read in additin to a lesson plan on Eleanor Roosevelt or a Unit on WWII… (more)
LibraryThing member Kel18
Very interesting and you learn the history of a great lady in story form.
LibraryThing member rmbowers
A fascinating and true story of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, "Eleanor" speaks to children of all ages and backgrounds. This book delicately tells the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's unhappy childhood, and her feelings of inadequacy. From the beginning, her mother was disappointed by her. (by no fault of Eleanor's.) Eventually, Eleanor was sent to an Orphanage where she then grew from a shy self conscious young girl, to a self confident young women. This is a great account of a true story that every child can relate to. It is an inspiring story that is filled with History, and many lessons, including the importance of seeing value in yourself.… (more)
LibraryThing member kspannagel
This story gives a vivid description of what Eleanor Roosevelt's life was as a child. She suffered teasing, by her own mother. She becomes an orphan at nine.
LibraryThing member achatela
Ever since she was born Eleanor was a disappointment to her mother. Her father loved her like no other. When her mom and dad had two brothers Eleanor felt that she was left out of everything. When she was eight she lost her mother. When she was nine her father died. It was then that Eleanor officially became an orphan. She was left with her grandmother. When she was fifteen she was forced to leave to go to boarding school. When she reached the boarding school she meet with the headmistress. Mlle, Souvestre was someone who inspired her and showed her to thank of herself as someone who is worth it. The story showed that without Mlle, Souvestre Eleanor most likely wouldn't have turned into the girl she did.… (more)
LibraryThing member Cottonwood.School
Presents the childhood of Eleanor Roosevelt, who married a president of the United States and became known as a great humanitarian.
LibraryThing member marlasheffel
The beautiful pictures help put the reader in the proper period of the life of Eleanor. Cooney both wrote and drew this book as she made the reader understand and love the poor little girl that no one else did. She was sad, lonely, and thoughtful, which can make for a difficult childhood without someone to really understand and love her. Cooney explains the relationships between Eleanor and her parents and how she was able to forgive her father even though he would often be gone from her for long periods of time. I have done extensive research on Eleanor Roosevelt and I learned things about her that I had known before; the historical accuracy of the entire is book is commendable and I would recommend this to anyone in upper elementary school or higher who wants to learn about her childhood.… (more)
LibraryThing member mrcmyoung
Eleanor's childhood is so sad and lonely it would be impossible to read if you didn't know going in that she was destined for greatness. Cooney does a fine job of capturing the pain of a little girl of privilege who has a detached mother and an unreliable father, only to lose them both before being shipped off to relatives and finally boarding school. It is there that she blossoms, and it is a worthwhile story for students to hear that sometimes rewards are waiting for us if we can endure life's hardships.… (more)
LibraryThing member bekeelen
Eleanor Roosevelt grew up in a cheerless home. Despite her family having money she was shy and lonely for years. This is an excellent biographic look at her life and what made her into the women she became. Its great to get a different perspective of a person it sometimes changes how you think of them.
LibraryThing member slrice
This book is about the beginning of Eleanor Roosevelt's life. The story begins with the disappointment Eleanor brought to her mother when she was born. Throughout her childhood Eleanor's mother continued to torment her and bring down her self esteem. As a teen Eleanor had lost both parents and was sent to a boarding school. It was there that Eleanor learned self love and to speak up for herself. Eleanor reached the top of her class and the lessons she learned there helped prepare her for her adulthood.… (more)
LibraryThing member klmontgomery
This is a great story about Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood. The illustrations really add to the book as they help guide the reader along with the text. It is a great book to show children that no matter what happens to them, they can become anything. Their past does not determine their future. It would be great to be used in Social Studies when discussing influential women or presidents.… (more)
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
Cool book. Amazing person. I didn't know that Eleanor knew Teddy Roosevelt! I knew about her being looked down on for her appearance and shyness, but I didn't know about her experiences in boarding school. What a remarkable childhood! Great detail.
LibraryThing member herethere
A dense book with lots of information about first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. It follows through her childhood and her time away at school as a young lady. Since she had a rather bleak, sad childhood, this is not a cheerful book. But, it's a true look at a real life and worth sharing with children.
LibraryThing member JudesThree
A well written, easy to read biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. This book focuses on her childhood and her determination.
LibraryThing member RiaO
This biography follows the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. I like that it encompasses who life of wealth and that although she was raised in a privileged household, she also faced struggles and sadness, such as the loss of her mother and her father living elsewhere. It ultimately showed how she was over to overcome her loneliness and found herself.

I would use this book in a 3rd grade classroom when learning about historical figures and their strife's and tribulations.
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LibraryThing member kkerns3
Summary: This is a biography of the early life of Eleanor Roosevelt from the time she was born until she was bout twenty years old. When Eleanor was born her mother did not like her much and thought she was ugly, she was also disappointed because she was not a boy. Her father, however, was quite fond of his daughter and they formed a close relationship. At home Eleanor spent most of her time with her nanny who only spoke French. This turned out to be beneficial later in Eleanor's life. Her parents were busy with many different events and parties so they did not spend much time with their daughter. Throughout her childhood Eleanor went with her family to various soup kitchens and other charities to help those in need. She had two younger brothers but since they were so much younger than her she did not spend much time with them. When the youngest was born her father left home and shortly after that her mother died of diphtheria. Eleanor and her two brothers moved in with their grandmother, aunts, and uncles. That same year her youngest brother, Ellie, died. Her father would visit periodically which brought Eleanor much joy. In the summer they would go stay at the house in Tivoli where Eleanor learned to cook, do laundry, play games, and ride her pony. When she was sixteen Eleanor made the journey to London to attend a boarding school called Allenswood. Eleanor was much more comfortable here and was popular among her peers. She grew into herself and was no longer the awkward girl in the corner. The headmistress grew very fond of Eleanor and was deeply saddened when she left to return to America at age nineteen.

Review: I really enjoyed this book and I thought it had a lot of interesting information. I have always enjoyed learning about the first ladies of our country, especially Eleanor Roosevelt. I liked how the author decided to focus on the first twenty years of her life rather than after she became the first lady. This allows the reader to get new information that is probably only briefly mentioned in books about Eleanor Roosevelt. I also liked how even though it is technically a biography the author put the information together in a story rather than just spewing facts onto a page. The illustrations added nicely to the text without being a distraction.
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LibraryThing member kes030
I love this book! Its about Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood and a great book to get students interested in history! I remember loving this book so much growing up and its very inspiring.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
Eleanor lived a very sad childhood. She was not pretty, and was reminded of that by her mother often. She was awkward and reminded of that by her mother and others often. While her family was wealthy, they were not without problems. Eleanor adored her father because he seemed to be the only one who paid attention to her and loved her.

Sadly, he was an alcoholic and was ostracized by her mother's side of the family. When her parents lived apart, she was incredibly lonely. Through a series of tragic events, her mother, father and brother died, leaving her an orphan. Summers were spent with her Aunts and Uncles in a lovely, large home up in the HUdson river valley of NY .

It was only when she was sent to Allenswood, a private school, and under the care of Mlle. Souvestre, she gained confidence and accepted that she was intelligent and became outgoing. Years later, she would marry Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As a wife of the President of the United States, she grew to accept the challenges necessary to speak in public. She became a stanch defender of the poor and disadvantaged. Fighting for the rights of minorities, she also reduced unemployment and improved housing conditions for those who were poor.

Compassionate, kind, intelligent and dedicated, she was an incredible person.
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LibraryThing member brandib90
“Eleanor” is a good book for teaching students that they shouldn’t judge people just by the way they look and that anybody can be whatever they want if they are given the chance. In the book, Eleanor is pretty much ignored by her mom and she is always described as plain, ugly, and ordinary. So, Eleanor was never given the chance to achieve anything because no one believed in her and students would be able to relate to this because at some point in time everybody could relate to the feeling that no one cares about them or what they feel. They might’ve felt like they could never achieve anything because no one believed in them. Then at the end of the book Eleanor has someone that believes in her and believes that she could be something and tells her that she is important. Everyone should have someone who believes in him or her because it makes him or her feel they are important and that they can be anything that they want to be.… (more)
LibraryThing member KRW15
This is a book that reviews the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. This book can be used in History during lessons about past presidents.. Students will like this book because it is based on a real person and real events that happened in someones life who was influential in history.
LibraryThing member Kdd026
This story of Eleanor Roosevelt tells the truth about her upbringing and all her trials in her life. It was very educational in that it went into detail about how her mother was cruel and her father passed away at an early age. She was a remarkable women that should be honored in an elementary classroom when students are learning about historical figure.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kate_Schulte078
This book would be good to show students that greatness can come out of a bad situation. It is also good when talking about the presidents, since she becomes a first lady, or when talking about the beginning of the century. I think students will like this book because they will see that others have become influential despite the background they came from.… (more)
LibraryThing member SamanthaMulkey
This is the story of Elenor roosevelt. Although I was familiar with her name, I was not aware of all the things she has acomplished in her life time. I also like how this book also covered her younger years. It was very sad how cruel her mother was to her, and that her father had passed away. I found this book to be very educational.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

40 p.; 8.08 inches


0670861596 / 9780670861590


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