White House Clubhouse by Sean O'Brien cover shows two girls standing back to back, a nature scene behind them.

Review: White House Clubhouse by Sean O’Brien

White House Clubhouse by Sean O'Brien cover shows two girls standing back to back, a nature scene behind them.

White House Clubhouse
Sean O’Brien
Norton Young Readers
Published October 3, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About White House Clubhouse

From a former White House, a middle grade series following two First Daughters who team up with historical presidential children to save the nation.

Marissa and Clara’s mom is the newly elected president of the United States, and they haven’t experienced much freedom lately. While exploring the White House, they discover a hidden tunnel that leads to an underground clubhouse full of antique curiosities, doors heading in all directions―and a mysterious invitation to join the ranks of White House kids. So, they sign the pledge.

Suddenly, the lights go out, and Marissa and Clara find themselves at the White House in 1903. There they meet Quentin, Ethel, Archie, and Alice, the irrepressible children of President Theodore Roosevelt. To get back home, Marissa and Clara must team up with the Roosevelt kids “to help the president” and “to make a difference.” White House Clubhouse is a thrilling and hilarious adventure that takes readers on an action-packed, cross-country railroad trip back to the dawn of the twentieth century and the larger-than-life president at the country’s helm. Black-and-white illustrations throughout.

My Review

I’ve read a couple of books in the last few years that draw readers into the (fictionalized) lives of real historical figures, and I love that idea. While it isn’t the same as reading a biography of the people by any means, it does get readers engaged with historical figures and thinking of them as real people with feelings, desires, and flaws. It also creates a great opportunity to research and see which elements of a story are fact versus which are fiction.

In WHITE HOUSE CLUBHOUSE, two sisters, Marissa and Clara, travel back in time to help the Roosevelt children solve a problem: a giant tree is about to be destroyed in California, and the land developer who plans to destroy it will then destroy other natural spaces.

Along the way, they learn about Teddy Roosevelt’s life. They meet a Rough Rider who charged up San Juan Hill with him. Alice Roosevelt speaks about being left behind by her father after her mother passed away. They witness Roosevelt sketch and paint a falcon. The girls also learn to trust one another and work together to achieve something.

I think readers who enjoy books featuring real-life characters will enjoy this fun-filled romp through a moment in Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Marissa and Clara are Latina, and their mother is serving as the President of the United States. Other major characters are white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Clara calls her sister names, including “spazo” to try to wake her after she is injured.

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Situations of peril. A stern man chases children. A bull chases a man and children in a field. A man tosses two girls from a horse onto a moving train. An explosion injures a girl. Another child makes a dangerous climb up a very tall tree.

Drug Content
Two men smoke cigars under a tree. A fire starts when one doesn’t put out his cigar properly.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of WHITE HOUSE CLUBHOUSE in exchange for my honest review.

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays

I’m sharing this post as a part of a weekly round-up of middle grade posts called Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays. Check out other blogs posting about middle-grade books today on Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays at Always in the Middle with Greg Pattridge.

About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

8 thoughts on “Review: White House Clubhouse by Sean O’Brien

    1. It really was fun. I hope you enjoy it, too! You’re welcome. 🙂

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed White House Clubhouse. I’m interviewing Sean on Monday and am excited to read this. I like that it’s historical and involves time travel.

    1. Oh awesome!! I’ll be sure to check out your interview with him.

  2. I think this sounds a great idea for a story, and a good way to share some history! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Valinora. Hope your have a great week!

  3. I recently read this one and share many of your thoughts. It’s a unique story with a look at the first family of 1903. A fun adventure. Thanks for featuring your review on MMGM this week.

Comments are closed.