Acclaimed biographer, Jean Fritz, was born in China to American
missionaries on November 16, 1915. Living there until she was
almost thirteen sparked a lifelong interest in American history.
She wrote about her childhood in China in Homesick, My Own
Story, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the National Book
Ms. Fritz was the author of forty-five books for children and young people. Many center on historical American figures, gaining her a reputation as the premier author of biographies for children and young people.
Among the other prestigious awards Ms. Fritz has garnered are: the National Humanities Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award. the Christopher Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Non-Fiction Award, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and many ALA Notable Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Awards.
She passed away on May 14, 2017.
``On the whole,'' Theodore Roosevelt once wrote, ``I have continued all my life to have a better time year after year.'' Roosevelt lived his life like the hero of a classic children's tale: he was a small, ailing boy who overcame his physical problems--seemingly by sheer enthusiasm and will power--to achieve a career filled with adventure, fun and success. As usual, Fritz ( The Double Life of Pocahontas ; Shh! We're Writing the Constitution ) makes the most of her material, as she presents an irresistible portrait of a unique, larger-than-life American. Roosevelt comes alive through such telling details as the clothes he wore (ever the dandy, he strutted through his stint as New York City's Police Commissioner in pink shirts and ``a black silk cummerbund with tassels reaching to his knees''), the lively games he played with his children and homely observations: ``Teddy couldn't get along without a rocking chair. Even when he sat down to rest, he liked to feel that at least his chair was on the go.'' Fritz also chronicles T.R.'s political career and his impact on the nation through his work in conservation, legislation and tax reforms. This thoroughly entertaining biography can be summed up in one word: Bully! Ages 10-14. (May)
Gr 5-8-- This very fine biography captures the exuberance and enthusiasm of Teddy Roosevelt without resorting to the fictionalization and unrestrained hero worship that has been so common in biographies for children in the past. It covers Roosevelt's entire life from his sickly childhood through his political career and presidency to his last expedition in the jungles of South America shortly before his death. Fritz discusses both his personal life and public achievements, emphasizing his role in the early conservation movement and his drives for reform in government and industry. She quotes him frequently, using letters, speeches, and memoirs (all documented in notes). She also includes a strong bibliography. The real strength of this book, however, is its look into Roosevelt's spirit. It communicates how his determination and drive changed both politics and the presidency, and how those changes helped create what we know as the modern presidency. Fritz is admiring of Roosevelt, but she also points out his weaknesses and faults. As usual, her writing and organization are excellent. An outstanding portrait of one of America's favorite characters that should have a place in all children's collections. Bully for this book! --Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High Sch . , MO
Praise for Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt!
"The real strength of this book is its look at Roosevelt's spirit. It communicates how his determination and drive changed both politics and the presidency, and how those changes helped create what we know as the modern presidency .... an outstanding portrait of one of America's favorite characters that should have a place in all children's collections. Bully for this book!" --School Library Journal (starred review)
"This colorful, idiosyncratic President, long a biographers' favorite, has never been portrayed with more beguiling wit, precision, and honesty. An excellent book, one of Fritz's best." --Kirkus Reviews "[Fritz] presents and irresistible portrait. ... This thoroughly entertaining biography can be summed up in one word: Bully!" --Publishers Weekly