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Children's LiteratureLearning how their government works is certainly a priority for students at the earliest possible level. Scholastic's "True Book" series takes on the task by bringing middle readers basic information on civics written in brisk, clear prose and illustrated with engaging color photos. Complex concepts are not easy to explain, but this series makes a good beginning; one hopes the very large type is not off-putting for its intended audience, definitely not primary students. In this title, a governor's job is explained, along with varying rules for eligibility, while a spread compares qualifications in four different states. Students learn some of the roles a governor assumes and a little about lieutenant governors. After reading the final, well-illustrated chapter describing a governor's typically exhausting day, students may ponder the final question, "Do you think you could do a governor's job?" Women are shown throughout as candidates, working governors, lieutenant governors, and members of a governor's staff. Although the author does not appear to be an expert on government, a lawyer-consultant from the University of North Carolina is listed. The book contains a useful glossary and a bibliography including some appropriate websites. 2004, Children's Press/Scholastic, and Ages 8 to 12.
—Barbara L. Talcroft