Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 7, 2020

Book Giveaway: ROOSEVELT BANKS, GOOD-KID-IN-TRAINING by Laurie Calkhoven

Laurie Calkhoven has written a Chapter book titled, ROOSEVELT BANKS, GOOD-KID-IN-TRAINING illustrated by Debbie Palen. Vivian has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Laurie and Debbie!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


“Broad humor lightens the load of this lesson, and nuanced friendships enrich it.” – Kirkus Reviews 

Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training is about a ten-year-old boy who discovers that his two best friends are planning a bike and camping trip. Not only that, they’ve agreed to be bike-dudes-in-training and ride their bikes every day after school and on weekends. Roosevelt wants more than anything to go along. There’s just one problem—he doesn’t have a bike. After much campaigning on Rooselvelt’s part, his parents agree to buy him a second-hand bike IF he can manage to be good for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. In the meantime, Roosevelt’s nemesis is trying to steal Roosevelt’s best friends and the spot on the trip. How can Roosevelt be good and be the same fun guy his friends want on the camping trip? Trying to stay out of trouble leads to more problems than expected—and to the discovery that being a good friend is more important than any bicycle.


Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training grew out of a school visit. I was speaking to an auditorium full of sixth-grade writers in Missouri, when one of the students asked why we need conflict in stories. The best example I could come up with on the spot was an anecdote about a boy who wished for a bike for his birthday, and immediately got his wish. I pointed out that that wouldn’t be a very exciting story. Then I played the “what if” game. What if his parents tell him he has to earn the money for the bike? What if he’s a trouble magnet and he has to be good for two whole weeks before they’ll even think about it? The kids all agreed that throwing conflict into the mix would make for an interesting story.

I flew home to New York and forgot all about the bicycle story until a few months later. I was in between projects and started noodling with a new character – a prankster with history professors for parents (his sister’s name is Kennedy and their dog is Millard Fillmore). Then I started wondering what kind of trouble Roosevelt could get into and why. I remembered the what ifs about the boy who wanted a bike. From there—as Bruce Colville would say—I put my character up a tree and started throwing rocks at him.

I worked on the novel on and off over the next eighteen months. I read the first page at a roundtable at the 2017 New Jersey SCBWI conference and got some great feedback from fellow writers. And in late 2017 I felt like the story was ready to go. I queried a few editors, but no one expressed interest. Then my critique partner Wiley Blevins let me know that he had just sold his novel (Trevor Lee and the Big Uh Oh!) to Red Chair Press, a small educational publisher that was starting a trade line. I sent my novel off in early 2018 and in less than a week I had an offer! Red Chair brought illustrator Debbie Palen in to illustrate the cover and do some interior art. I couldn’t love the illustrations more. They bring a lot to the story.

It’s my first time working with a small publisher, and the experience has been great. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Roosevelt performs out in the world. I hope kids find him as much fun as I do!


Laurie Calkhoven grew up in a suburban neighborhood very much like Roosevelt’s, and she’s always been interested in wacky presidential facts. She’s never swallowed a frog, knocked over a rabbit hutch, or sung too loud in music class, but she is the author of many novels and nonfiction books for young readers. You can find her online at

Laurie, thank you for sharing your book and its’ journey with us. Roosevelt Banks looks like a fun book that children will love. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I love the story of this book’s journey and I am very interested in reading it!


  2. Laurie. I met you at a NJ conference where you gave my writing kind and thoughtful notes. Congratulations on your new novel. It sounds like one that will hit home for many children.


  3. As a fan of Laurie’s and her books – I am thrilled to see a new book to add to my shelf! Congratulations, Laurie! Hope to hear Roosevelt has more adventures coming!


  4. This is such a relatable story for kids, I’m sure a lot of middle-schoolers will really enjoy it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link as well:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, best wishes in 2020 to all!!


  5. I LOVE Laurie’s books and would be thrilled to own this one! I am tweeting, sharing on FB and reblogging this gem.


  6. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson.


  7. I am so excited for this book and I can’t wait to share it with my students. Thank you for this opportunity to win a copy!


  8. Thanks for sharing your book’s journey.


  9. What a fun way to come up with a story idea! I love that question and how you explained conflict to the students. Congratulations! Sharing on Twitter and I follow by email.


  10. What a sweet book and a fun story behind the story. Congratulations, Laurie!


  11. Love this premise, Laurie (and yay, NJSCBWI!), and the illustrations are fanTASTic, Debbie! Tweeting as always, Kathy 🙂


  12. I’m looking forward to reading this book.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: