This is another of Don Brown's books that caught my eye. I've always imagined Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider and as the President of the United States... a champion of conservation and national parks. But this book tells the story of his childhood, when he was sickly, asthmatic, and frail.
The title comes from his nickname, Teedie, and the book talks about his parents and their attempts to make him stronger. Ultimately, his father encouraged him to become physically fit and with tenacity and endurance, his body strength (and his continued mental curiosity) improved. He overcame many of the obstacles he faced as a child. In Roosevelt's own words, he said, "he paddled 'in the hottest sun, over the roughest water, in the smallest boat.'"
The strength of his mind, determination, and futuristic thinking made small Teedie the man who reminded us to "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." Theodore Roosevelt is a somewhat iconic hero and we picture him often on a horse with a sword in his hand... but this book reminds us so clearly that we all start out as a child.
I used this book during our study of endurance and stamina... it's also a text that lends itself to the study of questioning and perhaps even synthesis. I'd recommend that you have a go with it...
There are several quotes of Teddy Roosevelt's that I've collected (not in the book)...
- "Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense,"
- "The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name,"
- "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed,"
- "Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground," and
- "Success - the real success- does not depend upon the position you hold, but upon how you carry yourself in that position."