Roosevelt Banks—Good-Kid-in-Training

I’ve spent the majority of my free time during this strange year reading MG books with heartbreaking themes: Opioid abuse, Divorce, Parental Neglect, Kids in Comas, and I could go on. They were all great stories, but they pulled me down even lower than the nightly newscast.

But then, appearing at the top of my review pile was this happy looking cover:

I’d only read a few pages when this line appeared and a smile returned to my MG loving face:

Mom took a deep breath. Parents and teachers do that—a lot. I guess when you’re old you need extra air.

The narrator is ten year old Roosevelt Banks. He has loving parents, a younger sister named Kennedy, and Millard Fillmore the dog (Yes, his parents have a thing for Presidential names).

Roosevelt has a kid size problem. His two best friends are leaving him out of an upcoming bike ride and camping trip. How could they? It was his bike that got destroyed helping one of them out with a science experiment. A deal with his parents could make everything right. They’ll get him a new bike if he can be good for two weeks. A big challenge for Roosevelt.

Filled with humorous insights and fast moving scenes through 120 pages, you just know this is going to have a happy ending. Getting there will for sure bring a smile to your face and little break from the world around you. A perfect starter for any new MG reader, especially those in 3rd and 4th grade.


  1. Excellent illustrations throughout. The one with four kids in the principal’s office should be hanging on every principal’s wall.
  2. No children, pets, or neighbors were harmed in the plot of this story.
  3. What? No sequel? We need more Roosevelt Banks please.
  4. A diverse cast of friends. There’s Asian-American Josh and African-American Tommy.
  5. I appreciated the short doses of presidential trivia thrown in.


I always loved books and reading, and I guess I always wanted to be a writer.  But I didn’t know you could be such a thing.  So the first thing I thought I wanted to be was a librarian. 

I remember walking into the library for the first time and being totally amazed and awed — shelf after shelf of books, all waiting to be read. I can’t remember the title of the first book I read through all by myself, but I remember closing it and then starting all over again at the beginning.  I read as much as I could.

For more about Laurie Calkhoven visit her author web site.


I received a copy of the book for my honest review. Please comment below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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12 Responses to Roosevelt Banks—Good-Kid-in-Training

  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Sounds like a fun story, and I could use a happy one right now. Thanks!

  2. This looks like a fun book. I’ve always enjoyed Laurie Calkhoven’s stories, especially her historical fiction, so a book with presidential trivia sounds very appealing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. We need some light reading right now that put a smile on our face — and this certainly fits the bill! Like the idea of presidential trivia. Thanks for sharing this entertaining story.

  4. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Sounds very sweet.

  5. I agree with you about the nightly news and books with heavy themes . . . This one looks uplifting and fun. Thanks for sharing this one for MMGM, Greg! :0}

  6. I love the quote from the book. I could use something light and fun right now. Thanks for telling me about this one. I will look for it.

  7. Sue Heavenrich says:

    This is on my “to read” list! Thanks for sharing your thoughts – and especially the quote. Made me smile, too.

  8. Sounds like a fun book. I agree with you that some MG books are downright depressing to read. I also enjoy something every now and then that isn’t breaking my heart.

  9. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like a really fun story! It’s definitely nice not to read something painful all the time. I hope a sequel comes out, since it sounds like this book deserves one! Thanks for the great review!

  10. Jenni says:

    This sounds wonderful! I love the humor in the first line and title. And the presidential trivia sounds great. I love middle grade like that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

  11. Pingback: The 2020 GOLDEN CUP AWARDS | Always in the Middle…

  12. Pingback: ROOSEVELT BANKS AND THE ATTIC OF DOOM | Always in the Middle…

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