Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Teddy Roosevelt, Millie and the Elegant Ride is a work of children’s fiction penned by author Jean M. Flahive which takes place in the historical setting of the 1910s. Written for a middle grade reading age of nine to twelve years, this historical work looks at poignant issues of the time, particularly in the case of young women and the effect of the Roosevelt presidency on the state of Maine. Our central character is Millie Thayer, whose headstrong ways don’t really suit the quiet life of a farmer’s daughter: she seeks more from the world. So when she crosses paths with a fated celebrity, Millie begins a journey to adulthood that has much farther reaching consequences than she realises.
Filled with historical gems and so much to learn and discuss, author Jean M. Flahive has created a charming novel which is also an essential teaching tool for local history. In terms of genre, the work is exceedingly well researched, and Millie’s story is inserted into an accurate timeline of local and global events which will surprise many young readers and certainly fascinate them to learn more in their own time. From a story perspective too, this makes for an interesting plot filled with excellent twists, and the ways in which they become linked to Millie’s emotional arc, as her dreams are constantly under threat of destruction, link readers to her in a very meaningful way. Overall, I believe that Teddy Roosevelt, Millie and the Elegant Ride achieves everything it sets out to as an accomplished work of educational historical fiction and an engaging read for its target audience.