Being Teddy Roosevelt

A Boy, a President and a Plan

by Claudia Mills, R.W. Alley

Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to get a saxophone so he can take instrumental music. His mother can't afford to rent him a sax, and he's sure he'll never save up enough money to buy one. But as Riley learns more about Roosevelt's "bully" spirit, he realizes that there just might be a way to solve his problem after all.

Claudia Mills' sparkling story about the influence of important historical figures is enhanced by tender, insightful illustrations.

Being Teddy Roosevelt is a 2008 Bank Street—Best Children's Book of the Year.


  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); April 2007
  • ISBN: 9780374706890
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Being Teddy Roosevelt
  • Author: Claudia Mills; R.W. Alley (ill.)
  • Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

In The Press

“Mills writes with such a light, humorous touch that many scenes beg to be read aloud. Much information is subtly woven in to the narrative, and the gathering of world leaders at the tea is a sight to behold.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Enriched by its portrait of grade-school friendships and goofy classroom happenings.” —Booklist

“Bully for Riley and bully for Mills for writing a timely, comfortable school story filled with likable fourth graders.” —The Horn Book

“Children will appreciate this gentle lesson about achieving a goal.” —School Library Journal

“Mills introduces an ingenious, likable lad. Alley's animated art enhances the tale's humor and helps capture the characters' diverse personalities.” —Publishers Weekly


About The Author

CLAUDIA MILLS lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is the author of the popular
7 x 9 = Trouble!, an ALA Notable Book. R. W. ALLEY is the illustrator of Ziggy's Blue-Ribbon Day by Claudia Mills. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.