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Diana's White House Garden

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Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It's 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana's father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father's office door was not well-received), the President re Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It's 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana's father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father's office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country's survival: Victory Gardens! From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the homefront.


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Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It's 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana's father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father's office door was not well-received), the President re Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It's 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana's father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father's office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country's survival: Victory Gardens! From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the homefront.

30 review for Diana's White House Garden

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Diana really wants to help with the war effort, but all her ideas keep backfiring. Who would have thought that putting pins on all the white house chairs would cause problems? Fortunately, someone gets the bright idea to steer her towards a garden, finally. (Bonus: the historical note at the back makes clear that this is a true story. Including the pins.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Diana Hopkins, whose father was an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, lived in the White House during World War II. There she got into plenty of mischief - putting a measles sign on her father's office door, placing tacks on all of the chairs set out for Eleanor Roosevelt's tea - while also dreaming of being a hero for her country. When President Roosevelt suggested that the country grow Victory Gardens, in order to raise produce for domestic consumption - Diana became the White Hou Diana Hopkins, whose father was an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, lived in the White House during World War II. There she got into plenty of mischief - putting a measles sign on her father's office door, placing tacks on all of the chairs set out for Eleanor Roosevelt's tea - while also dreaming of being a hero for her country. When President Roosevelt suggested that the country grow Victory Gardens, in order to raise produce for domestic consumption - Diana became the White House's Victory Gardener. Her efforts were publicized in the press, becoming an inspiration to her fellow Americans, both young and old, who were also growing Victory Gardens... I enjoyed Diana's White House Garden, which presents an engaging story of one little girl's involvement in the larger events of World War II. Personal stories are often a wonderfully accessible entry into history for young readers, and a child's personal story is particularly effective in this respect. Children will enjoy learning about a mischievous young girl's life in the White House, her relationship with the famous Roosevelts, and her celebrated activity in the Victory Gardens campaign. The artwork, created with a combination of pencil, gouache and digital elements, captures the look of the 1940s, from the clothing to the White House interiors. Both author and illustrator have included a brief afterword giving more information, although it would have been nice if a list for further reading had been included. Recommended to anyone looking for picture-book biographies and/or works of history for younger children.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    When the United States entered World War II, people of all ages on the home front were urged to do whatever they could to help the war effort. Naturally, Diana Hopkins, the ten-year-old daughter of President Roosevelt's chief adviser Harry Hopkins and White House resident, wanted to help, too. But everything she tried, just didn't work out well in the White House. So, when the President said that he wanted everyone to grow their own food as part of the war effort to keep both soldiers and citize When the United States entered World War II, people of all ages on the home front were urged to do whatever they could to help the war effort. Naturally, Diana Hopkins, the ten-year-old daughter of President Roosevelt's chief adviser Harry Hopkins and White House resident, wanted to help, too. But everything she tried, just didn't work out well in the White House. So, when the President said that he wanted everyone to grow their own food as part of the war effort to keep both soldiers and citizens strong and healthy, that included the White House lawn. Diana jumps at the chance to help out with the President's proposed Victory Garden and before she knows it, she is sporting a pair of overalls, turning the soil, fertilizing it, and planting beans, carrots, cabbages, and tomato plants. Even Mrs. Roosevelt helps out on occasion. With the help and guidance of Mrs. Roosevelt, George, the groundskeeper, and Fala, the President's little scotty dog whose job it was to keep the rabbits away, Diana's garden thrives. By harvest time, flouishing has a flourishing garden ready for picking and eating. Diana’s garden was made famous when newspapers and magazines published pictures of her working in her garden, wearing her overalls, an inspiration to kids all over the country to follow her lead: Diana’s White House Garden is a lovely picture book work of historical fiction for young readers that shows how kids can sometimes do things that can make a big difference. Without going into the specifics of World War II, the need and desire for a Victory Garden comes across in a very age appropriate way and the real emphasis is on helping out, perseverance (especially after rabbits eat her first sprouts) and the rewards to be reaped as a result, including the feeling of accomplishment. The simple line pencil, gouache, and digital drawings done in a palette of earth tones on a cream background reflect not just the time period, but also the idea of working in the soil. Of course, Diana’s big, red tomatoes, lovely orange carrots, and deep green cabbages might inspire any to create their own Victory Garden, even today. I loved the inclusion of an illustration of Diana reading Wonder Woman comics while listening to the radio. If you look closely, you will see she has been reading Wonder Woman’s first appearance in Sensation Comics and the very first comic devoted to Wonder Woman - a nice pop culture touch. One bit of reality: President Roosevelt wasn't really very keen on a Victory Garden, it was Mrs. Roosevelt’s idea. It was only after he had seen and tasted the fruits of their labor that the President became enthusiastic. You can read all about it at City Farmer News. However, this by no means should diminish your enjoyment of Diana’s White House Garden. This book is recommended for readers age 5+ This book was borrowed from the NYPL This review was originally posted on The Children's War

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Victory Gardens were big in World War II. But did you ever hear the story of how the White House got involved in the Victory Garden business? Who got it going? Why, a little girl. It's a lovely little story, told well for the young audience. I suspect you grownups will like it, too. Victory Gardens were big in World War II. But did you ever hear the story of how the White House got involved in the Victory Garden business? Who got it going? Why, a little girl. It's a lovely little story, told well for the young audience. I suspect you grownups will like it, too.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Diana's father works for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so Diana lives in the White House. The nation is in the midst of WWII and Diana wants to be part of the war effort and contribute to her country...but her ideas of how to contribute are not well received. Until she hears about President Roosevelt's idea for citizens to plant victory gardens and that he wants a victory garden at the White House. Diana volunteers to help plant and care for the garden. Eleanor and the White House gardene Diana's father works for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so Diana lives in the White House. The nation is in the midst of WWII and Diana wants to be part of the war effort and contribute to her country...but her ideas of how to contribute are not well received. Until she hears about President Roosevelt's idea for citizens to plant victory gardens and that he wants a victory garden at the White House. Diana volunteers to help plant and care for the garden. Eleanor and the White House gardener help Diana, but she does much of the work...and eventually earns the fruits (or I guess vegetables) of her labors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amarie35

    What a wonderful story! Growing your own food and giving it away is awesome!

  7. 5 out of 5

    June

    Based on the remembrances of a girl who lived in FDR's white house and helped with the White House Victory Garden and how she was written up to encourage others. (Riding the dumbwaiter, hanging a measles sign on her father's door, putting pins in chairs and the trouble she got into...) Use for garden and Women's History programs? Based on the remembrances of a girl who lived in FDR's white house and helped with the White House Victory Garden and how she was written up to encourage others. (Riding the dumbwaiter, hanging a measles sign on her father's door, putting pins in chairs and the trouble she got into...) Use for garden and Women's History programs?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    wonderful story of the young girl who helped tend the White House Victory Garden during World War II. Makes you wonder why more of us don't have our own gardens. I'm glad to see the movement of c community gardens returning. wonderful story of the young girl who helped tend the White House Victory Garden during World War II. Makes you wonder why more of us don't have our own gardens. I'm glad to see the movement of c community gardens returning.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sara Grochowski

    A great pick for the start of summer and the gardening season, the inspiring story of Diana Hopkins shows young readers that even they can make a difference and inspire others!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Diana (Hopkins) Halsted, the daughter of one of Franklin Roosevelt's close advisors, lived at the White House during World War II. Without other children around, she spends most of her time with Fala, the Roosevelts' dog. After her playful activities get her in trouble with the White House staff, it is decided that a good way to direct Diana's energy would be for her to take care of a Victory Garden on the lawn. The 10-year-old becomes part of a publicity plan to encourage people all over the co Diana (Hopkins) Halsted, the daughter of one of Franklin Roosevelt's close advisors, lived at the White House during World War II. Without other children around, she spends most of her time with Fala, the Roosevelts' dog. After her playful activities get her in trouble with the White House staff, it is decided that a good way to direct Diana's energy would be for her to take care of a Victory Garden on the lawn. The 10-year-old becomes part of a publicity plan to encourage people all over the country to help the war effort by growing their own food. This is a great nonfiction book that has been well researched. At the end of the book, an author's note describes conversations with the real Diana, who is still living. There are very few people still alive from this generation so this is an important touch. There is also a photo of the real Diana with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. I loved seeing the two of them together in a real photo. The style of the illustrations reflects the time peroid. Created with pencil, gouache, and digital methods, the sepia-toned backgrounds are drawn but not filled in or completely colored. People are and appear more solid. The pictures reflect great attention to detail, with people of varying races also featured in street scenes in Washington, DC. The White House staff is of mixed race, as it was at the time. Diana is shown reading a Wonder Woman comic and playing with a Raggedy Ann doll. Her father even has a bald spot on the back of his head. All of these little details show that the book has been lovingly researched by the illustrator as well. Diana’s WhiteHouse Garden connects with the current day as Michelle Obama and many schools are involved in gardening, and demonstrates how that movement has roots in the 1940s.This book could be used for many curricular themes including history and gardening. Amazon lists the suggested age group for this book as 5-8 and grades level K-3

  11. 5 out of 5

    K. McDevitt

    This caught my attention while I was volunteering at the library, so I gave it a quick read. The book is the true story of a young girl whose father worked in the White House for the Roosevelts. She wants to do her part for the war, and tries some things that just don't work out (like putting pins in the chair cushions in case invaders sit there... bit Mrs. Roosevelt's friend sat there instead). She is finally tasked with tending the White House's victory garden, an example garden to feed househ This caught my attention while I was volunteering at the library, so I gave it a quick read. The book is the true story of a young girl whose father worked in the White House for the Roosevelts. She wants to do her part for the war, and tries some things that just don't work out (like putting pins in the chair cushions in case invaders sit there... bit Mrs. Roosevelt's friend sat there instead). She is finally tasked with tending the White House's victory garden, an example garden to feed households while the main crops went to feed soldiers. Even Fala (one of my favorite White House pets) helped out by chasing away rabbits who were trying to eat the vegetables. The story was fun, engaging, and informative. The illustrations were beautiful and detailed. It was a joy to read. While reading, I just kept trying to picture our current first lady (Melania Trump) helping out the war effort by getting down in the dirt, planting a garden like this. It made me both want to laugh and cry. My two favorite things about the book were 1. The afterward at the end which talked about the real Diana and showed photos of her with Mrs. Roosevelt, showing off the garden. 2. An illustration of Diana dressed conservatively as Wonder Woman (another Diana)! I love that it's historically possible that she could have read about Wonder Woman back then, and that she took on that spirit to protect and help. Awwww. This was a lovely book. Thank goodness the beautiful cover illustration features Fala, or it might not have caught my eye!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bott

    Diana’s White House Garden is a true story about Diana Hopkins, the daughter of Harry Hopkins, who was President Roosevelt’s chief advisor. Diana hears and learns a lot about the war and wants to have an influence and help the country and soldiers overseas. She does so by taking one of the President’s ideas and running with it, to plant a garden in the backyard to eat from. Diana learns how to garden, plants the food, and gets her story publicized all over the country, making an impact on the re Diana’s White House Garden is a true story about Diana Hopkins, the daughter of Harry Hopkins, who was President Roosevelt’s chief advisor. Diana hears and learns a lot about the war and wants to have an influence and help the country and soldiers overseas. She does so by taking one of the President’s ideas and running with it, to plant a garden in the backyard to eat from. Diana learns how to garden, plants the food, and gets her story publicized all over the country, making an impact on the rest of the country. The main themes of this story are hard work, being a good member of society, and helpfulness. When I read Diana’s White House Garden, I admired how Diana didn’t sit back and just allow her powerful father to do something, she wanted to make a difference too. I liked how the story shows that even little kids can make a national and global impact. I would recommend this book to all kids, most appropriately late elementary aged students. This book teaches kids that going outside and doing something as simple as growing carrots can help those around you. It also gives kids a little historical information that they might not know about President Roosevelt and some of his cabinet members and their family.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    The story takes place at the white house in 1943 while Roosevelt is in office. World War Two was going on and everyone needed to pitch in, but Diana was not sure what she should do to pitch, so she goes around doing all sorts of things to help, but messes them up. This happens until she takes on the Gardening and becomes a role model for the USA. I personally loved this book because it shows a good example of independence for women on taking on extra roles during WWII, as well as a great story f The story takes place at the white house in 1943 while Roosevelt is in office. World War Two was going on and everyone needed to pitch in, but Diana was not sure what she should do to pitch, so she goes around doing all sorts of things to help, but messes them up. This happens until she takes on the Gardening and becomes a role model for the USA. I personally loved this book because it shows a good example of independence for women on taking on extra roles during WWII, as well as a great story for children to learn about where the Garden at the White House came from. I had not heard of this before and thought it was wonderful. This would be a great book to teach in a historical fiction content lesson. I would read it to the students and have them write what they believe to be the facts and what is the fictional parts to make the story more fun.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Relyn

    is a Show Me nominee this year, which means it's up for the best picture book of 2018 as chosen by Missouri school children. I read each of the ten nominees to all my second, third, and fourth graders. For those of you who are counting, that's 15 read alouds in one week. This book was fun because it really grabbed the students and interested them in our nation's history. We had great fun talking about President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor. The students were fascinated with how different t is a Show Me nominee this year, which means it's up for the best picture book of 2018 as chosen by Missouri school children. I read each of the ten nominees to all my second, third, and fourth graders. For those of you who are counting, that's 15 read alouds in one week. This book was fun because it really grabbed the students and interested them in our nation's history. We had great fun talking about President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor. The students were fascinated with how different things were 75 years ago and how much they were still essentially the same. This is a terrific book, but I don't think it will work for very many children on it's own. This is the kind of book made for teacher read aloud and mentor texts.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Polk

    This is the story of a girl named Diana who lived in the White House in 1943. Her father was the chief advisor to President Roosevelt, World War II was in full swing, and all ten-year-old Diana wants to do is help. This is an empowering story that encourages girls to get involved with the things they care about, even if they seem too big for them to reach. Diana is relatable and inspiring. This book gives children plenty to think about as well. How would they help the war effort? What can you do This is the story of a girl named Diana who lived in the White House in 1943. Her father was the chief advisor to President Roosevelt, World War II was in full swing, and all ten-year-old Diana wants to do is help. This is an empowering story that encourages girls to get involved with the things they care about, even if they seem too big for them to reach. Diana is relatable and inspiring. This book gives children plenty to think about as well. How would they help the war effort? What can you do when things don't go right the first time? What did Diana do that we should also do? She persisted.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Air

    How fun! I personally think that Victory Gardens need to make a come back, so finding this book really made my heart happy! During the second World War, many children felt the pressures to help, but didn't exactly have many opportunities to do so. The Victory Gardens Project changed this, and all over the country those who hadn't been able to help before, were suddenly given a purpose and honestly made such a difference! If the Victory Gardens Project came back, and land that is just sitting and How fun! I personally think that Victory Gardens need to make a come back, so finding this book really made my heart happy! During the second World War, many children felt the pressures to help, but didn't exactly have many opportunities to do so. The Victory Gardens Project changed this, and all over the country those who hadn't been able to help before, were suddenly given a purpose and honestly made such a difference! If the Victory Gardens Project came back, and land that is just sitting and not being used for anything was changed into a food garden, imagine all the good that could be done!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Knight

    Summary: Diana’s dad was the president. We were in the middle of a war. She wanted to help anyway she could be she was so young. The president wanted people to grow their own food. So Diana started a job helping in the garden. She made the first garden at the White House. Evaluation: This is a sweet story of a little girl trying to find her place to help. This would be great to read in younger grades because it teaches students to lend a helping hand. Teaching idea: The lesson this story teaches Summary: Diana’s dad was the president. We were in the middle of a war. She wanted to help anyway she could be she was so young. The president wanted people to grow their own food. So Diana started a job helping in the garden. She made the first garden at the White House. Evaluation: This is a sweet story of a little girl trying to find her place to help. This would be great to read in younger grades because it teaches students to lend a helping hand. Teaching idea: The lesson this story teaches is that anyone, any age can help do something. Diana searched for her place to help and finally found a way to help everyone and something she loved to do too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Diana is a little girl who lives in the actual White House! Her father is Harry Hopkins, President Franklin Roosevelt's chief of staff. But as much fun as it is to live in the White House, it's also war time. The second World War is in full swing, and Diana wants to help, but how? A conversation she overhears between her father and the President gives her a grand idea. Read to find out how this one little girl made a big difference! I would use this book to show children that it's not the size o Diana is a little girl who lives in the actual White House! Her father is Harry Hopkins, President Franklin Roosevelt's chief of staff. But as much fun as it is to live in the White House, it's also war time. The second World War is in full swing, and Diana wants to help, but how? A conversation she overhears between her father and the President gives her a grand idea. Read to find out how this one little girl made a big difference! I would use this book to show children that it's not the size of the person performing good work, it's the size of willpower shown that influences the outcomes of their endeavors.

  19. 5 out of 5

    RumBelle

    This was a charming story, based on true events, of a little girl who helped tend the White House Victory Garden during World War II. Diana Hopkins, daughter of one of Roosevelt's advisors, lived in the White House with her father, and desperately wanted to do something to help during the war. Initially she had some...interesting ideas, which did little more than get her into trouble. Once Roosevelt suggested the Victory Garden though, Diana knew she had found a way to help. She learned how to te This was a charming story, based on true events, of a little girl who helped tend the White House Victory Garden during World War II. Diana Hopkins, daughter of one of Roosevelt's advisors, lived in the White House with her father, and desperately wanted to do something to help during the war. Initially she had some...interesting ideas, which did little more than get her into trouble. Once Roosevelt suggested the Victory Garden though, Diana knew she had found a way to help. She learned how to tend the garden, harvest the vegetables, and inspire the country. Diana's story was enchanting and heartwarming. The illustrations vividly brought Roosevelt's White House, and it's many historical figures to life. Diana had a lot of heart, and that inspired people to help.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth Anderson

    What better way to learn history than experiencing life in the White House with a child! As the story unfolds the reader learns about the home front efforts during WWII and the situation in the White House. Like everyone else in the country, Diana longs to play a part. Her attempts are humorous until she finally finds the perfect way to help. Diana’s efforts present a great example of how children want to and, given the opportunity, are able to contribute, too. It’s a great story of how we all n What better way to learn history than experiencing life in the White House with a child! As the story unfolds the reader learns about the home front efforts during WWII and the situation in the White House. Like everyone else in the country, Diana longs to play a part. Her attempts are humorous until she finally finds the perfect way to help. Diana’s efforts present a great example of how children want to and, given the opportunity, are able to contribute, too. It’s a great story of how we all need to find a role that allows us to be a part of something greater than ourselves.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Roller

    Nonfiction, 2016 This book tells the story of a little girl named Diana that helped to make a vegetable garden in the White House! The pictures are simple and beautiful, and this book helps to encourage students to take action to make a difference! I would recommend it for a 2nd to 5th grade classroom.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Lin

    This is one of my picture books. Based on the true story of Diana Hopkins, the story provides an insight into the daily life of inhabitants of the White House during the time of President Roosevelt. Through the enthusiasm of Diana, President Roosevelt's idea of becoming more self-sufficient during World War II came to fruition. This is one of my picture books. Based on the true story of Diana Hopkins, the story provides an insight into the daily life of inhabitants of the White House during the time of President Roosevelt. Through the enthusiasm of Diana, President Roosevelt's idea of becoming more self-sufficient during World War II came to fruition.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Diana is invited to help with the White House Victory garden, which attracts a lot of attention. I love the history, the characters (including the Roosevelts and Fala their dog) and the charm in this book. This was the perfect souvenir from Washington D.C.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethe

    Interesting account, with facts detailed in the back matter, of the start of the WWII Victory Garden program. Perfect for young readers.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Whimsical true story with lots of child appeal about the home front, the Roosevelt White House and a victory garden.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Inspiring true story of the little girl who helped inspire the nation by planting a Victory Garden on the lawn of the White House.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    A girl lives in the White House with President Roosevelt. She keeps trying to figure out how she can help during the war. She plants a victory garden with Eleanor Roosevelt

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patty Barr

    Good historical fiction choice for younger readers about a victory garden planted at the White House under FDR. It could be compared with the garden planted when the Obamas were living there.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The history of the Victory Garden.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    I found this title as a suggested story on Read Aloud Revival. Perfect timing as we are starting our own vegetable garden in our backyard.

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