Written by Laurie Calkhoven and illustrated by Debbie Palen, Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom follows Roosevelt Banks and his band of brothers as they take on the arduous task of turning “The Attic of Doom” into “The Attic of Dudes.” 


For most of us, our school days remain the most cherished times of our lives. It is during those days when we forge lifelong friendships and go on the most thrilling of all adventures. The innocence of our childhood is indeed difficult to replicate later in life. 

Laurie Calkhoven paints for us the adventurous yet innocent picture of childhood in her Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom. The book follows Roosevelt Banks and his friends, Josh, Tommy, and Eddie Spaghetti, as they begin their last summer vacation before being seniors in middle school. Roosevelt is super excited to make this summer “The Summer of Dad.” He even draws up a list of exciting activities to be done with his dad and friends. Alas! Life has other plans. Roosevelt gets to know that he was going to be a big brother again.  His parents decide to convert the attic into a wonderful room for him so that his new baby sister could move into his former room. Roosevelt is less than thrilled with the idea. After all, the attic is deemed to be haunted. He does not want to be possessed by spirits. Roosevelt and his friends cook up all sorts of schemes to free the attic from ghosts. 

Are ghosts real? If so, would the boys be able to get rid of them? What about “The Summer of Dad?” Would Roosevelt be able to enjoy the summer with his father and his buddies? Most importantly, would Roosevelt and his compatriots be able to turn “The Attic of Doom” into “The Attic of Dudes?”  

Laurie Calkhoven beautifully captures the mind of a middle schooler in Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom. Roosevelt is no longer a baby. He is on the cusp of teenagehood. The way the author portrays his brave yet childish attempts to be a grown-up is adorable. I love his friendship with Josh, Tommy, and Eddie Spaghetti. The guys all stick together through thick or thin. I had fun seeing them build a fort. Their valiant attempt to be ghostbusters was amusing. I like the way Calkhoven vividly portrayed the action. Her words kept me on my toes as well. Roosevelt’s endeavor to sleep alone outside the house and his run-ins with Malik and Dante were exciting to read about. 

One of my favorite characters is undoubtedly Kennedy. She was brave and straightforward. The way she took care of the rabbits is adorable. Even though she was only four, she was fearless enough to stand up to Tommy’s twin brothers, Malik and Dante. 

I have to mention that Mr. and Mrs. Banks are admirable parents. Being a history buff, I loved the trivia shared by Mr. Banks at random times. I believe this would be educational for children as well. Without even knowing it, they would learn a lot about US presidents and the Civil War. I myself was flabbergasted after knowing the story of Washington and his mother. 

Debbie Palen’s beautiful illustrations add a special touch to the book. The pictures are apt and enjoyable. I believe the illustrations would be instrumental in holding the ever-fleeting attention of children. Also, I have to mention that the book is exceptionally well-edited. This is a must for any good children’s book. 

Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom by Laurie Calkhoven is an amazing read. The exciting story, the valuable lessons in life and history, and the fun illustrations make it a perfect read for children. I believe history buffs and adults who like to reminisce about their childhood would love this book. 

Book Details

  • Title: Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom
  • Author: Laurie Calkhoven
  • Genre: Children’s Illustrated Book
  • Theme: Friendship, Adventures, Summer
  • Publication Date: February 1 2022
  • ISBN or ASIN: 978-1947159709
  • Number of Pages: 170
  • Minimum Audience Age: 7

Book Themes

(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)

  • Sexual themes: 0
  • Religious themes: 0
  • Violence, self-harm, etc.: 0
  • Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 1
  • Other adult themes: 0

Children’s Book Features

  • Good role models for younger ones: Yes
  • Moral values: Yes
  • Good social manners: Yes
  • Age-appropriate language and topics: Yes
  • Age-appropriate illustrations: Yes


  • Content: 5 stars
  • Writing Style: 5 stars
  • Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
  • Uniqueness: 5 stars
  • Editing: 5 stars
  • Other factors: 5 stars
  • Overall: 5 out of 5

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By Kajori Sheryl Paul

Reading is my passion, and writing is my compulsion. I started reading from a very early age. Since then, I have not stopped. I have garnered this addiction from my father. I have always loved reading his books. As you can see, books are my world. I escape this world to traverse the world of my books. Naturally, I have an affinity to create worlds of my own. There are thoughts constantly swirling in my head. These are the thoughts that I jot down. Sometimes, they become poems while sometimes stories. More often than not, they are just reviews of the plethora of books I read and the things I do.

One thought on “A Book Review by Kajori: “Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom” by Laurie Calkhoven”
  1. Aww, that’s adorable. I hope Roosevelt had his “Summer of Dad” because I know how hard the arrival of a little brother of sister can be. And I love history trivia too! Lovely book!