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Extended Audio Sample Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery Audiobook, by Russell Freedman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (466 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Russell Freedman Narrator: Barbara Caruso Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781436128957
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Almost anything scares young Eleanor: mice, the dark, and a host of imaginary dangers. But she learns to hide her feelings—her father disapproves of fear, and she longs only to please him. She knows she will always disappoint her beautiful, socialite mother, because Eleanor is painfully shy and plain. As a young debutante in Manhattan, she spends her days teaching needy children and touring crowded tenements. There, she makes a life-changing discovery that later enables her to redefine the role of America’s first lady—being shy doesn’t matter as long as she’s helping others. Winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Golden Kite award, Eleanor Roosevelt was named an ALA Notable Book and a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. Author Russell Freedman creates a spirited portrait of the woman who overcame enormous personal obstacles to earn the title, “First Lady of the World.” With Barbara Caruso’s splendid narration, Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life unfolds with clarity and sensitivity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Freedman writes both authoritatively and compellingly, and the Eleanor that emerges is a complex, flesh-and-blood individual, not a dull heroine of textbook history. He also deals plainly with some of the more sordid aspects of the Roosevelts’ married life (namely FDR’s infidelity), but he never sensationalizes, and his honesty and candor signal his respect for his subject and for his readers. This biography cannot be recommended highly enough.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marie | 2/12/2014

    " I knew Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing woman, but I didn't know the half of it. Freedman does an excellent job of highlighting her accomplishments and showing how she became the public figure we learn about in school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phoebe | 2/10/2014

    " What a great, simple description of the life of a remarkable woman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaimi | 2/2/2014

    " This is a young adult book - but provides a great summary of her life and lots to discuss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric Makelky | 1/28/2014

    " Not a bad read. I gained some insight on the role Eleanor played in the human rights movement, something I previously did not know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janell | 1/18/2014

    " I loved this book because it was fun to read and it taught me a lot about American history. Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman, but at the same time she was down to earth and very human. She's appealing because you can relate to her and many of her personal challenges, and also look up to her at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marion | 1/9/2014

    " This is a Newberry Honor Book, so it is written for children, but it's authoritative and an enjoyable quick-read. I had assumed that since it was written for young people it would not mention FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer, Eleanor's social secretary--but it did. The book covers her whole life, from childhood, through her schooling, her marriage and family, all her public service and her friendships, and her death. At the end, it lists historic sites devoted to her and FDR, and recommends books for further reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/9/2014

    " A wonderfully informative and readable biography on Eleanor Roosevelt. I highly recommend this book for young adult readers or anyone looking for a quick book on one of our most magnificent First Ladies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/21/2013

    " This book was way more interesting that I thought it would be. I read it for a book club that I belong to. Eleanor Roosevelt lead a very interesting life. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edy | 11/26/2013

    " What an amazing woman. I remember her. I was just entering high school when she died. This was a very easy-to-read book, yet it contained much information about her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 11/26/2013

    " Very well done, as are all of Russell Freedman's books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 11/16/2013

    " Gave me a great overview into the life of a woman that I realized I knew little about - but needed to recognize her great contribution to so very many facets during her life. The most important thing I learned - I need/want to read more about this amazing woman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 11/13/2013

    " Everyone in book club read a different bio about Eleanor Roosevelt. I can't remember which one I read, I just know that it had lots of photos and was very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 10/25/2013

    " YA. An overview of her life. What an amazing persoon! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 4/15/2013

    " Reading this because I have to teach it, but I'm learning a lot! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 2/13/2013

    " Roosevelt was a wonderful and accomplished woman! A great read!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 11/30/2012

    " I honestly don't know if this is the book I read, but it doesn't matter I would read anything about Eleanor Roosevelt. I read one a long time ago and don't remember the exact title, but the book influenced me so much I still think of it and the strenth and grace she possessed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cali | 9/27/2012

    " This was an easy read and a great introduction to Eleanor Roosevelt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lia | 9/10/2012

    " Very readable tribute to a great woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 7/1/2012

    " Really enjoyed this book. Easy to read and very informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Destinee Sutton | 5/18/2012

    " I love ER! At 187 pages, this book's way easier to get through than Cook's two volume bio. It's a children's book, but it doesn't gloss over her father's alcoholism or FDR's infidelity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lana | 11/27/2011

    " Compared to this biography all others are about as interesting and useful as an unsharpened pencil! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celeste | 11/22/2011

    " The first time I read this book I loved it and I worried that ten years later I would not like it as much, but I did. Ten years ago I read this book and then went on to read her autobiography. I love this lady and her life was very inspiring-excellent reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Bearden | 9/2/2011

    " A very good informative book. Nice read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dena | 8/2/2011

    " Perfect for a young adult, and a woman I would want my daughters to know about early on, if I had any. As an adult, this was good as an introductory text, but for anyone who already knows something about Roosevelt's accomplishments, you'll want something with more depth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristine | 7/5/2011

    " I love this author. Although it is "junior" literature, the biography was extremely well written and interesting. I learned a lot about this neat lady! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 7/3/2011

    " She had such an interesting, sad life. What a great lady. I have always been a fan and I really enjoyed learning more about her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 3/18/2011

    " Everyone in book club read a different bio about Eleanor Roosevelt. I can't remember which one Zi read, I just know that it had lots of photos and was very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 3/10/2011

    " She had such an interesting, sad life. What a great lady. I have always been a fan and I really enjoyed learning more about her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 2/14/2011

    " Russell Freedman has done it again with his historic photos and engaging style. I now know Eleanor like never before. But the book was limited by its length (at the Newbery level, books must be limited by length)and left many questions unanswered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 12/10/2010

    " Not a bad read. I gained some insight on the role Eleanor played in the human rights movement, something I previously did not know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 4/26/2010

    " A great overview of Eleanor Roosevelt's life. It was thorough wihtout being too detailed. I enjoyed it. The photographs told a story in and of themselves. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Raeesa | 11/14/2009

    " Eleanor Roosevelt was such an amazing person!! She did so much good work, was always traveling, and was a great help to her husband. (Although their marriage was really sad.)I love the way this book is written too. It's not complicated or boring, but has lots of quotes and pictures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ro | 9/12/2009

    " A short introduction to the life of this amazing woman. A wonderful book for children and novice readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Callie | 9/11/2009

    " I sound like a little kid, but I loved all the pictures! She was a strong woman when life was hard, and spent a lot of her time serving others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 8/21/2009

    " I really liked this book! I was worried it would be a little dry, but I actually couldn't put it down. I had no idea that Mrs. Roosevelt led such an extraordinary life. I definitely recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carter | 11/5/2008

    " I knew Eleanor Roosevelt was amazing, but holy cow. I was totally inspired and amazed by what I read in this book. I even cried. Freedman's biography made me want to read more on this amazing woman. Too bad she didn't run for president, I would've voted for her. "

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About the Author
Author Russell Freedman

Russell Freedman is the distinguished recipient of the Newbery Medal, several Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award for his body of work. His many nonfiction titles include The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights and Children of the Great Depression. He travels widely to research his books but he makes his home in New York City.

About the Narrator

Barbara Caruso is an accomplished actress and critically acclaimed audiobook narrator. A graduate of London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she was a featured player in the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has played starring roles on Broadway and in theaters across the country. She won the Alexander Scourby Reader of the Year Award for her performances of young adult fiction, and has more than one hundred audiobook narrations to her credit.