cover image To Dare Mighty Things: 
The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

Doreen Rappaport, illus. by C.F. Payne. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4231-2488-7

Rappaport continues her series of biographies that emphasize direct quotations from their subjects (including Helen’s Big World and Abe’s Honest Words) by studying the setbacks and successes of Theodore Roosevelt. The author proceeds chronologically, noting Roosevelt’s sickliness as a child (as well as his love of animals, which continued through his life), before moving on to his two marriages, service in the New York State Assembly and other public positions, the Rough Riders’ taking of San Juan Hill, and his accomplishments as president, after ascending to office following the McKinley assassination. Payne provides hazy, burnished illustrations that alternately reflect Roosevelt’s seriousness of purpose (he’s shown lassoing a giant fist clutching money as he takes on corporate trusts), playfulness (as in a White House scene crawling with children and pets), and love of nature (Rappaport outlines how Roosevelt helped conserve “230 million acres” of American land). A timeline and suggestions for further reading round out a biography that, despite its brevity, gives a full sense of Roosevelt’s life. Ages 6–8. Author’s agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Dec.)