Thursday, April 21, 2011

What To Do About Alice?

charmed THE WORLD,
and drove her FATHER TEDDY CRAZY!

Kerley, Barbara. 2008. WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALICE. Scholastic Press: New York.  ISBN 9780439922319.

Plot Summary
This biographical, picture storybook describes the colorful and exciting experiences of Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, Alice.  Whether "Running riot" or "eating up the world," Alice lived life to the fullest.  Kerley describes Alice's self schooling, political standings and even married life.  The ending Author's Note personifies the many roles of Alice, and supports the story.

Critical Analysis
Alice Roosevelt is portrayed as a so-called "problem" in a time period where children were usually seen and not hear, but Kerley makes a point to show how the problem child was truly a giver of life and excitement.  Fotheringham illustrates Alice's mischief and animated personality with brightly colored and time period appropriate art.  Kerley's depictions of Alice's childhood escapades, library explorations and diplomatic missions around the globe turn Roosevelt's problem in to a national treasure.  
"From the time she was a little girl, Alice ate up the world."   

Awards & Honors
Silbert Honor Book
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor
Irma Black Award Honor Book
Parents Choice Award
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
An ALA Notable Book
Capitol Choices
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Nominated for Young Reader awards in Texas, Illinois, Utah and Tennessee

"With a palette that emphasizes Alice Blue, her signature color, the illustrations often match Alice's spirit with zigzag streaks, circular pieces of spot art, and slanting figures. . . ." - The Horn Book 2008 
"Kerley brings another historical figure to life."- School Library Journal 2008
"Kerley reveals the essence of Alice in an upbeat account of her life, dramatizing Alice's love of ‘eating up the world..." - New York Times Book Review 2009

  • Before reading, children can learn about other U.S. Presidents' children by researching, and they can follow up by playing this fun quiz.
  • Teachers can use the free resources at Scholastic and print mazes and coloring sheets for students, to heighten their interest.  The Maze!  The Coloring Page! 
  • Resources provided from the "Learning Through Listening" website are insightful for teachers.  They recommend that students read What To Do About Alice? and list the facts that they learned about the first daughter.  Then they will research another first daughter of interest, and write a new story, "What To Do About ______?"

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