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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.
The history of the development and growth of democratic ideas and democracy is presented in graphic/cartoon images in this title in the Graphic Library' "Cartoon-Nation Presents" series. Starting with an example from a typical family deciding on a dinner choice through voting, this title covers the democratic process from ancient Greece to the statement that in 2007 "more than 100 countries have democratic governments." Packed with historical tidbits provided in insets and humorous speech bubbles from the mouths of a variety of noted champions of democracy, O'Donnell presents a broad overview of the ideas and methods that went into the development of democracy as we know it today. The status of people of color and women is not overlooked or downplayed, since they were not included in the early days of any democracy. The light touch of some of the more gruesome aspects of the fight for democracy may be offensive to some; an inset about the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution shows a man about to be beheaded saying "Just a little off the top. And don't forget to trim my mustache!" The hooded executioner replies, "I'm an executioner, not a barber!" Other humorous aspects will make this compilation of facts appeal to a wider range of readers. The high interest text also includes information about voting, political campaigns, The US Constitution and its Amendments, etc. The time line at the end is accompanied by a glossary, a "read more" section, a Fact Hound site, and an index. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan