“We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us.”
Eleanor Roosevelt was born on this day in 1884 and the United Nations has declared October 11 International Day of the Girl. No date could be more appropriate. After an unhappy childhood, Eleanor Roosevelt became a passionate, dedicated advocate for human rights around the world.
J. Patrick Lewis honored Roosevelt and her spirit in this poem, from his 2005 collection, Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women (Creative Editions).
You Learn by Living
for Eleanor Roosevelt
Who showed the world the world itself
Was awkward, shy and plain.
A high-born leader in a long,
Low decade full of pain.
A lady first, the great first lady
Looked fear in the face,
And said, There is no room for fear
When courage take its place
Read the entire poem here.
Many books have been written about Eleanor and her remarkable life. Russell Freedman’s Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery is featured today at Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac. Eleanor, Quiet No More: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt (Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009) is Doreen Rappaport’s picture book biography for younger readers. A list of more titles about Eleanor is available at Through the Looking Glass.
Roosevelt once said “It is better to light candles than curse the darkness.” Eleanor Roosevelt’s inspiring life story is certain to spark the imagination of readers everywhere.
Don’t forget to visit Laurie Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids for the weekly round up. Happy Friday, everyone!