Parents' Guide to

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Making of America, Book 5

By Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Informative, fair, balanced bio of the New Deal president.

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As an introduction to a complex historical era, this book does a great job. Important concepts like fascism and laissez-faire economics are explained in easy-to-understand sidebars, while the major developments of World Wars I and II and the interwar period are covered in some detail. Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Making of America doesn't go too deeply into some of the more ambiguous and controversial elements of the New Deal and the G.I. Bill -- including the fact that the social programs Roosevelt pushed for were largely inaccessible to Black Americans -- but Kanefield often acknowledges when and why historians disagree over parts of the story.

The writing is effective and informative, using the appropriate vocabulary to make young readers familiar with terms like "internment," "economy," and "national debt." Overall, the book does a solid job of teaching the basic history, which will hopefully encourage young readers to do more research on the monumental events that are covered.

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