Barack

( 23 )

Overview

This is a journey that began in many places.

It began in Kansas, home of Barack’s mother.

It began in Africa, home of Barack’s father.

It began in Hawaii one moonlit night, the night that Barack was ...

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Overview

This is a journey that began in many places.

It began in Kansas, home of Barack’s mother.

It began in Africa, home of Barack’s father.

It began in Hawaii one moonlit night, the night that Barack was born.

Sometimes it was a lonely journey.

Sometimes it was an enchanted journey.

But throughout this most unusual ride, this boy often wondered:

Who am I?

Where do I belong?

Jonah Winter and AG Ford re-create the extraordinary story behind the rise of America’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, in this stunning picture book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This most recent picture book about a 2008 presidential candidate (see Reviews, Aug. 11 for more books on the subject) could serve as an object lesson in haste: the publisher has said that Winter (Frida) turned the text around in two weeks and, unfortunately, it shows. Known for his clarity and lively prose, the author punctuates this biography with clichés. Barack Obama's life is framed as a "journey" through a complicated childhood to "unimaginable heights" (Winter doesn't specify those heights until an endnote, which centers on Obama's presidential campaign). At first Winter depends heavily on existential questions ("Where do I belong?" "Who am I?"), but these are poorly suited to the target audience, and some of his answers are glib. For example, discussing Obama's biracial background, he writes: "So what did that make Obama? For Caucasians, it simply made him 'black.' For some African Americans, though, it made him lessAfrican American." Debut artist Ford deserves credit for executing more than 20 paintings in only months; however, his figures are often distorted or strained. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
Barack Obama's life mirrors the iconic American-immigrant-rags-to-riches success story. His heritage and upbringing are an amalgam of bloodlines and cultures that span the globe. Barack was born to an American, his mother, and a Kenyan, his father, in Hawaii, a state whose population includes peoples and ethnic traditions from the Pacific Rim. His father left while Barack was still a toddler and Barack lived for a time with his mother and step-father in Indonesia. Then he returned to Hawaii to live with his mother's parents. As a result, Barack grew up acquainted with the life and customs of both the Far East and the United States. He also has an extended family of half-brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents in Africa. Therefore, questions centering around "Who am I?" and "Where do I belong?" are the subtext of Barack's maturation, a journey of self-discovery more literal than most. He developed a personal philosophy of tolerance and acceptance of others no matter their background or heritage, and an ability to interact with people from all walks of life. His central message is the conviction that the United States can, as a nation, overcome our difficulties because who we are as a whole is the resource-rich reward of our differences. The visual journey through Barack Obama's life is presented in colorful images that support the text and add to the drama of his story. This book would be a good resource for introducing the 2008 Democratic candidate for President to young children in a classroom, library, or home setting. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

More tribute than biography, Winter's picture book adopts the same reverential tone found in Nikki Grimes's Barack Obama (S & S, 2008). Yes, the facts of Obama's life can be found here. Readers learn about his brief interactions with his father from Kenya, his stay in Indonesia with his white mother and her new husband, his work in Chicago, election to the Senate, and nomination for the presidency. But Winter also includes speculations about Obama's inner questioning of his identity and endows his life with an almost messianic quality. After quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., he declares that Obama "would be the embodiment of King's dream-a presidential candidate whose very being was a bridge that joined nations." Ford's illustrations reinforce this vision of greatness, whether Obama delivers a speech in front of a huge American flag or gazes confidently into the future while skies clear behind him. Even his enthusiastic supporters may squirm at such adulation. Children deserve a more evenhanded presentation.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061703928
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 782,480
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonah Winter grew up in Dallas, Texas, and saw JFK on November 22, 1963, moments before he was assassinated. Mr. Winter is the author of many celebrated biographies for young readers, including the New York Times bestselling Barack, also illustrated by AG Ford; You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!; Dizzy; and Frida.

AG Ford is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Barack by Jonah Winter and also of Michelle and First Family by Deborah Hopkinson. He is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    A story only possible in America

    This book is a great tool to help children learn about Barack Obama and his journey to becoming the first African American Democratic Nominee for President of the United States of America. This book is especially appropriate to use with young children because there aren't too many words on each page and the illustrations really bring the story to life. The book is also a helpful tool in showing children of color what is possible with having drive and determination, and a hope for wanting to make a difference in the lives of other. I found the illustrations of Barack Obama life-like and beautiful. I highly recommend this book to other readers for their collection during this historic election.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Great Story, Phenomenal Art

    I was blown away when I saw this book. I love the way the book tells the story of young Barack Obama to educate young reader of how he got to where he is now. The story is inspriring and that is exactly what the youth of America needs these days. The art is amazing and does a great job of brining the story to life. I reccommend it for schools and young kids from all walks of life. I bought a copy for my young nephew.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Teacher & Students love book !

    I am currently a 3rd grade teacher, and recently read this amazing story to my class. The story was very easy to follow. It also sparked the interest of the young students with questions about politics and diversity.The artwork in the book was also amazing. One of my students said, ' Those look like real people' The pictures also kept the student very attentive. I would recommend this book for all classroom across America, it is important that the young generations understand the magnitude of the 2008 elections.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    WONDERFUL TRUE STORY!

    If the other reviewer complains that this paints an unrealistic portrait of Barack Obama, I am going to praise the book for its realism. It shows realism in the descriptions of injustice that our nation wears as an embarassing scar. It conveys excitment at the prospect of having a President that is not the same old, same old. I am rejoicing the victory of Barack Obama and the walls he has broken down. The whole world is rejoicing too. I'm sorry that this isn't everyones American Dream, but for those with enough hope for a new direction, the authors enthusiasm is shared! Yes we can!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Great Book!

    This is a great book that gives children an opportunity to get familiar with Barack Obama's life. The artwork is absolutely outstanding, and the story is both informative and exciting. This book paints a vivid picture of Barack Obama's life through both words and beautiful artwork! I would recommend this book to anyone!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2008

    Oustanding !!!

    Between Jonah Winters memorable words and Ag Fords ability to illustrate with great detail makes Barack an outstanding book. This inspirational story will encourage young readers to go after their dreams!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Good Education Tool

    This book is perfect for young readers in so many ways. The way Barack's life is unraveled and the illustrations that follow the events, make you feel like you were there every step of the way. Its good to have these types of tools to educate our young America on the current national leaders.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    Shameless

    I actually read the book. Politicans, any politician from any party, should never seek to influence the minds of children with books that are about themselves. In four years when President Elect Obama as done something...delivered on the changes that he promoted, then write about about what he accomplished and more importantly...how he went about it.<BR/><BR/>This book is just another step to the movement to deify Obama. Shameless.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2008

    FAIRYTALE!

    THIS IS NOT A BIO OF AN INDIVIDUAL. IT IS A FAIRYTALE OF A FIGURE CREATED TO BE LARGER THAN LIFE. IT IS NEARLY SILLY. I CAN STILL SEE THE ADORING GAZE OF THE AUTHOR AS HE IMAGINES A PERFECT LEADER IN A PERFECT WORLD. THIS MAN IS NO WHERE NEAR A MESSIAH UNLESS THE MESSIAH IS A SOCIALIST.<BR/>OBAMA HAS NO BACKGROUND. HE HAS BEEN ELEVATED TO A LEVEL HE DOES NOT DESERVE. <BR/>NOT A McCAIN FAN EITHER, BUT AT LEAST HE HAS A HISTORY.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2008

    The end of the American experiment

    It was always my understanding that the intended purpose of children's books and adolescent education in general was to teach young people to think; this book wants children to think a certain way. As a student of history it frightens me how history does in fact repeat itself. This book is another example of how politicians can acquire so much power they become almost God-like. I am just waiting for the day when i'll be driving down the NJ turnpike and look up and see a billboard with the image of Barack Obama and the words "Saviour of the World". I guess we have forgotten in this country that the president of the United States serves at the discretion of the people, intsead an image has been created of someone who was sent from above to save us all from ourselves. God help us.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2008

    Sounds like the "Grandpa Stalin" books...

    My wife found this book at the store and honestly it FREAKED HER OUT! Growing up in the Ukraine, she was used to Soviet propaganda. Where books portrayed leaders (such as "Grandpa Stalin") as lovable grandfathers. She commented that the book looked almost exactly the same.<BR/>I read the book, and while it's a good story about a man that overcomes the odds against them. I found the story vague and that it asserted to lay claims to things that only the reader should decide.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008

    greatest ever

    The illustrations in this book are the best ive seen in a childrens book in a long time.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2009

    Good Choice for Elementary Students

    Obama's family background and his road to the presidency are well presented in this easy-to-read book. The information about his ethnic heritage is just enough so that young children can understand. I would recommend this book to librarians, teachers, and parents as a beginning biography.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    Amazing Reflection of Reality

    Not the book! I haven't read the book, I'm sure its all reality and no fiction. But I'm talking about the reviews and how reflective they are of the opinions of Barack Obama. You either hate him, reader ratings of (1), or you love him, reader ratings of (5). Amazing! Revise history before it is written. On concept and intention alone I give it my rating.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thank You!

    This book really makes it easy to tell youth about the life of the president. I thiink it's encouraging to see how diverse our president's background is. It really helps kids to see that there's no standard cultural formula to acheiveing great things!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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