Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eleanor, Quiet No More

Eleanor, Quiet No More
by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Gary Kelley

About the book:
A quiet girl, Eleanor was born to a life of privilege, but not one of love. When she couldn’t please her mother, she learned that it was better to disappear. “I wanted to sink through the floor in shame.” When she was a teenager, a special teacher encouraged Eleanor to use her voice and use it proudly. As First Lady of the United States, Eleanor was often criticized for her beliefs. But she still spoke up, to change things that needed changing and to help those who could not speak for themselves. Dorreen Rappaport lyrically combines poignant biographical details with Eleanor Roosevelt’s own words while Gary Kelley’s moving illustrations brilliantly re-create a true first in First Ladies and the world she helped make a little bit better.

About the author:
Doreen Rappaport has written numerous books for children, including Freedom Ship and The School Is Not White, illustrated by Curtis James and John’s Secret Dreams, illustrated by Bryan Collier. Her bookMartin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. also illustrated by Bryan Collier, was a Caldecott Honor Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and an Orbis Pictus Honor Book for Outstanding Nonfiction. Ms. Rappaport lives and writes in upstate New York.
About the illustrator:
Gary Kelley is well known for both his fine art and his illustration work. He has received awards from the New York Society of Illustrators, American Booksellers Association, Print magazine, Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, the Bologna Book Fair and others. His clients include the New Yorker magazine, Rolling Stone, and many major publishers and advertising agencies. Mr. Kelley lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Discussion guide:
  1. Describe Eleanor’s life as a young girl. Why was she so serious and sad?
  2. Who “shocked” Eleanor into thinking? How? Has a teacher or other adult ever done this for you? Give an example.
  3.  Why does the author, Doreen Rappaport, have quotes at the end of each page? Why was it important to include Eleanor’s own words? How do you know when Eleanor is speaking?
  4. What shocked Eleanor in New York City? How did she try to help those who had so much less? How can you help others too?
  5. What did Franklin love most about Eleanor? Do you agree with him that, “most people only pretended” to listen? How do you become a good listener?
  6. Why was Albany a happier place for Eleanor to live? Have you ever moved and been happier?
  7.  What issue helped Eleanor find her voice? How did she organize women to help?  How can we help soldiers today?
  8. When did Eleanor finally stand up to her mother-in-law, Sara? How did it help her husband?
  9. Explain how Eleanor became a voice for women. What did she want them to do?
  10.  Do you think the author, Doreen Rappaport, admires the life of Eleanor Roosevelt? How can you tell? Do you also admire this First Lady?
  11. What happened during the Great Depression? How did Eleanor help the President help the people?
  12. How did Eleanor stand up against racism, too? How do you think her example helped others to take a stand?
  13. Which illustration is your favorite? How do they help the reader know about the time period? Why do think he chose the colors he did?
  14. Did everyone like Eleanor? Did she care? How did she become first lady of the world?
  15.  What can you learn from reading about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt? Which quote in the book is your favorite? Why?
Create a character web based on the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. Brainstorm a list of adjectives to describe Eleanor (like brave) and then list examples from the book that support it.
Write a response journal to the book or your favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotation. What does it make you think about? Feel? How can you apply what you’ve learned to your own life story?
Mentor Text:
Study how the author uses quotes from Eleanor to enhance the story. How can you add direct quotations to enhance a connection between the reader and your topic? Where can you find quotations for your next piece
Research the cost of living during the Great Depression and the cost of similar goods and services now. Be sure to also find the average salary of Americans of each time. Compare.
President Franklin Roosevelt was stricken with Polio. Research this disease and how vaccines have nearly eradicated it from Earth.
Create a timeline of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life. On the top of the timeline list the most important events from her own life and on the bottom add important historical milestones.

This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist at Endeavor Elementary and an award-winning children’s author. Visit her website at to find hundreds of other guides!