Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-In-Training

Laurie Calkhoven (Author) Debbie Palen (Illustrator)


When ten-year-old Roosevelt Banks discovers that his two best friends are planning a bike and camping trip, he wants more than anything to go along. There's just one problem--he doesn't have a bike. Roosevelt's parents agree to buy him a bike if he can manage to be good for two whole weeks. How can Roosevelt be good and be the same fun guy his friends want on the camping trip? Trying to be good leads to more trouble than expected--and to the discovery that being a good friend is more important than any bicycle.

-- "Journal"

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
One ELM Books
Publish Date
January 01, 2020
6.4 X 0.6 X 8.1 inches | 0.66 pounds

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About the Author

Laurie Calkhoven is the author of many books, including George Washington: An American Life and Harriet Tubman: Leading the Way to Freedom. She lives in New York City. Visit her at

Debbie Palen works in watercolor, colored pencils, pastels, and many, many Q-tips which can be found scattered all over her Cleveland, OH studio.


Facing the prospect of missing a bicycle campout with friends Tommy and Josh, bikeless Roosevelt makes a deal with his parents. The question is: Can Roosevelt stay out of trouble for two weeks? It's not going to be easy, as he not only has a well-deserved reputation as a fourth grade prankster to protect, but pushy classmate Eddie immediately opens a campaign to get invited in his place. Complicating Roosevelt's strenuous efforts to toe the line rather than cross it (or at least not get caught), Calkhoven tucks plenty of narrow squeaks into her generously leaded narrative--along with alimentary banter, presidential trivia (Roosevelt's dog is named Millard Fillmore, and his little sister's Kennedy), and a fantastically gross incident in which he tries to hide a frog by popping it into his mouth. Readers also see him wrestle with guilt as his loyal friend Tommy twice bails him out by taking the heat in his stead. That guilt leads at last to a blubbering confession to his (fortunately understanding) mom and dad, and in the end he gets his bike, his outing, and even a developing friendship with Eddie. Palen methodically diversifies the cast in her sporadic grayscale illustrations (Tommy's black, Josh's Asian, and Eddie's white), and though Roosevelt and his mom present white, his dad and Kennedy both have somewhat darker skin. Broad humor lightens the load of this lesson, and nuanced friendships enrich it.--Kirkus Reviews

-- "Journal"