Local author Andrew Vietze will give a reading and presentation of “Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America’s 26th President” Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown Camden Public Library.

Before Theodore Roosevelt became one of America’s most prominent presidents, a legendary outdoorsman, badlands rancher, Rough Rider, trust buster and political maverick, he was “a thin pale youngster with bad eyes and a weak heart,” said William Wingate Sewall, the Maine woodsman who became Roosevelt’s mentor and lifelong friend. In this latest book from award-winning author Vietze comes the untold story of the relationship between two men of completely different backgrounds.

One was a privileged statesman who eventually moved into the White House, and the other was a lumberman that lived in a farmhouse in Aroostook County. “Becoming Teddy Roosevelt” describes the friendship of Roosevelt and Sewall, exploring how that bond changed Roosevelt (and the nation) and why it matters today.

Vietze works as a ranger at Baxter State Park in northern Maine when he is not at his desk, and he serves as an editor-at-large for Down East, the Magazine of Maine. He is the author of three previous books, and his articles have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and online sites. A Registered Maine Guide himself, Vietze was particularly intrigued when he stumbled on the story of the roughhewn hunting guide who became a mentor to Roosevelt.

“In the innumerable biographies of the 26th president, William Wingate Sewall takes up only a page or two or a handful at best. Something told me that there was more to the story, that this was a uniquely formative relationship for the young Teddy Roosevelt,” he said.

Vietze and his family live in Appleton, where he is working on his first novel. The story of his transition from editor to ranger is included in 2007’s “Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough.” In 2008, he won an International Regional Magazine Association award for his historical writing. He currently is finishing a thriller set in the North Woods during the lumbering era.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.