The President's Daughter

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

When her father, Theodore Roosevelt, becomes president after the assassination of... read more

When her father, Theodore Roosevelt, becomes president after the assassination of William McKinley, ten-year-old Ethel Roosevelt’s life changes dramatically. Previously schooled at home, Ethel is enrolled in the new National Cathedral School, where she boards during the week. At school she is homesick and finds it difficult to make new friends. She can’t wait for Friday afternoon, when she returns to her new home, the White House, which can barely contain the energy of her warm, exuberant family. Delightful weekend antics, like the time Ethel spends a state dinner beneath the formal dining table at the White House on a dare, contrast with the formal atmosphere of the school, where Ethel dreads the whispers of her classmates. Those whispers escalate to sneers after her father hosts a black man, Booker T. Washington, for dinner, and Ethel wishes she had the same courage as her father to uphold her convictions and beliefs. But with the support of her loving family—from her even-tempered mother to her ebullient father to her bold, independent half-sister, Alice, whom she adores—Ethel gradually adjusts to being “the president’s daughter” while remaining true to herself. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s appealing narrative is convincingly and compellingly told from young Ethel’s point of view. The author includes a wonderful note that details where fact ends and fiction begins in her narrative. (Ages 8–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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