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David A. Adler

Inside
COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT
A Conversation with the Author


Q: David, please tell us about your most recent book, COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
A: Theodore Roosevelt was perhaps our most talented president. He surely was our most colorful. He was a police chief, soldier, author, Nobel Prize winner, explorer, and wild game hunter. He craved attention. His daughter Alice said of him, he “wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.”

As a writer, my challenge is to make each biography accurate, relevant, and interesting. With all the books written about Roosevelt by his sister, friends, and historians, as well as his autobiography and newspaper accounts, being accurate was not a great challenge. His policies as a trustbuster president and environmentalist are amazingly relevant today. Making his story interesting was easy.

Q: Walk us through your research process for this book. Where did you begin?
A: This will surely sound morbid, but I began with Roosevelt’s obituary in various 1919 newspapers. This gave me a good overview of Roosevelt’s life and accomplishments. Then I did a search for books about him written by people who knew him as well as by historians. I especially wanted books published around the time of his life. I read newspaper accounts of all major events in his life. That gave me all sorts of interesting details of the 1901 stalking and assassination of President McKinley, which made Roosevelt president. Whenever possible, I look to period newspapers and magazines for information. I find them much more detailed than book accounts.

Q: What made you interested in researching Theodore Roosevelt?
A: I began with an interest in his determination to overcome his disability, his difficulty breathing as a child. I thought his response to his disability could be encouraging to young readers with physical limitations. Roosevelt’s personality and people’s reaction to it was another reason for my interest. Then the stalking of McKinley read like an action thriller.

Q: What do you hope readers will discover and learn from the life of Theodore Roosevelt?
A: I think biographies of historical figures give readers an interesting way to learn history. That’s why I am always careful to frame the story within the context of history.

Q: If you could go back and ask Theodore Roosevelt one question, what would it be?
A: It would be a foolish question, knowing his personality. I would ask if he ever regretted anything he said or did. It would be a foolish question because Roosevelt did not believe in looking back, only forward. But perhaps a century later he has had some second thoughts.

Q: What do you think young readers can gain from reading about the lives of historical figures?
A: Well-written biographies not only give readers a sense of history, but with subjects such as Roosevelt, they are great reads.

About the Author


David A. Adler grew up "a dreamer" in a large family in New York City. He graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in economics and education and then worked for nine years as a math teacher in the New York City public school system. While teaching, David went on to earn an M.B.A. in marketing from New York University. It wasn't until he was working on a Ph.D. in marketing that he had an epiphany that would change his life's course dramatically. He was inspired to write his first book, A Little at a Time. His focus had now changed from marketing to writing, and in 1977, when he and his wife, Renée, had their first child, David took a child care leave from teaching and stayed home to take care of the baby—and to write. To this day he hasn't gone back, and David Adler is now the award-winning author of more than 210 books for children, which cover an amazingly wide range of styles and topics.

David says: "I am the second of six children, four boys and two girls, all very close in age. My parents encouraged each of us to be a unique individual—it was their way of lessening the competition among us. We each had our own interests and hobbies, filling up the third floor of our big, old house with antique tuxedos and cameras, bottle caps, car radios, historic newspapers, baseball cards, and our many other collections. One brother was a budding scientist, one a mathematician, and one a historian. One sister was an artist and the other a scholar. I was the dreamer.

"At one point, while attending an Open School Night for my middle son, I was reminded of my dreamy past. My son's fourth-grade teacher was the same teacher I had as a fifth-grade student many years ago. She looked at me, smiled, and then told the roomful of parents, 'A long time ago, when I just started teaching, David was in my class. I went to the principal and asked, 'What should I do with David Adler? He's always dreaming.' 'Leave him alone,' the principal answered. 'Maybe one day he'll be a writer.'"

"The inspiration for my nonfiction books is simply subjects I find fascinating. I've written biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Helen Keller, Thurgood Marshall, Lou Gehrig, and others. In my biographies, it's important that readers learn about the subject and his or her times. I have also written books on the Holocaust, science, math, and economics. I begin each work of fiction with the main character; the story comes after. Of course, since I'll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not write about someone I like? I love to write. It's a joy for me to know that children enjoy reading what I write."

David A. Adler, a former teacher, is the author of many critically acclaimed biographies for children, including the best-selling Picture Book Biography series. He lives in the New York City metropolitan area. Visit him online at www.davidaadler.com.

Books by David A. Adler

B. FRANKLIN, PRINTER, Trade Binding
CALCULATOR RIDDLES, Paperback
Circles, Reinforced
Circles, Paperback
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Trade Binding
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR . :A HOLIDAY HOUSE READER LEVEL 2, Reinforced
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: A Holiday House Reader Level 2, Paperback
ENEMIES OF SLAVERY, Reinforced
FRACTION FUN, Reinforced
FRACTION FUN, Paperback
Fractions, Decimals, and Percents, Trade Binding
Fractions, Decimals, and Percents, Paperback
Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life, Trade Binding
FUN WITH ROMAN NUMERALS, Reinforced
Fun with Roman Numerals, Paperback
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Trade Binding
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Reinforced
HEROES FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, Reinforced
HEROES OF THE REVOLUTION, Reinforced
HEROES OF THE REVOLUTION, Paperback
HONEST ABE LINCOLN: Easy-to-Read Stories About Abraham Lincoln A Holiday House Reader Level 2, Reinforced
THE HOUSE ON THE ROOF: A Sukkot Story, Paperback
HOW TALL, HOW SHORT, HOW FARAWAY, Paperback
IT'S TIME TO SLEEP, IT'S TIME TO DREAM, Reinforced
Let's Estimate: A Book About Estimating and Rounding Numbers, Reinforced
A Little at a Time, Reinforced
Magnets Push, Magnets Pull, Reinforced
Millions, Billions, & Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers, Reinforced
Millions, Billions, & Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers, Paperback
MONEY MADNESS, Reinforced
Money Madness, Paperback
Money Math: Addition and Subtraction, Reinforced
Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra, Reinforced
Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra, Paperback
Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions, Reinforced
Perimeter, Area, and Volume, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF AMELIA EARHART, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF AMELIA EARHART, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF ANNE FRANK, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Paperback
A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez, Reinforced
A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, Paperback
A Picture Book of Daniel Boone, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF DAVY CROCKETT, Paperback
A Picture Book of Dolley and James Madison, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF HARRIET TUBMAN, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF HARRY HOUDINI, Reinforced
A Picture Book of Harry Houdini, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF HELEN KELLER, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF HELEN KELLER, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF JACKIE ROBINSON, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF JACKIE ROBINSON, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF JESSE OWENS, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF JESSE OWENS, Paperback
A Picture Book of John and Abigail Adams, Reinforced
A Picture Book of John F. Kennedy, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF LEWIS AND CLARK, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF LEWIS AND CLARK, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF LOUIS BRAILLE, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF LOUIS BRAILLE, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF PATRICK HENRY, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF PAUL REVERE, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF ROSA PARKS, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF ROSA PARKS, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF SACAGAWEA, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF SACAGAWEA, Paperback
A Picture Book of Sam Houston, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF SAMUEL ADAMS, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF SOJOURNER TRUTH, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF THOMAS ALVA EDISON, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, Paperback
A PICTURE BOOK OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, Reinforced
A PICTURE BOOK OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, Paperback
Place Value, Reinforced
Place Value , Paperback
PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON, Reinforced
Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down, Reinforced
Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down, Paperback
SHAPE UP!: Fun With Triangles And Other Polygons, Reinforced
SHAPE UP!: Fun With Triangles And Other Polygons, Paperback
Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys, Reinforced
Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys, Paperback
The Story of Hanukkah, Paperback
The Story of Hanukkah, Reinforced
The Story of Passover, Reinforced
The Story of Passover, Paperback
Things That Float and Things That Don't, Reinforced
Things That Float and Things That Don't, Paperback
Time Zones, Reinforced
Time Zones, Paperback
Triangles, Reinforced
Triangles, Paperback
WORKING WITH FRACTIONS, Paperback
YOU CAN, TOUCAN, MATH, Reinforced