This book is part of a series called "Profiles of Presidents." The biography is very "user friendly" in that it gives information about George W. Bush and the period in which he lives, using simple words to discuss a complex topic. The early years show the influence his father had on the choices he made in education, sports, and ambition to be in politics. The photographs included provide an excellent reinforcement of the text. Also included, is a glossary, a two-page Life at a Glance, a 6-page parallel, a pictorial timeline and an additional Web site list for more resources. Much information is packed into this 64-page biography and students will be able to use this as an excellent reference when doing research. Reading about George W. Bush provides insight to the world of politics and the steps that lead up to becoming President of the United States. 2004, Compass Point Books, Ages 9 to 14.
Kathie M. Josephs
Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm Ed.D.
This book in the "Presidents and Their Times" series provides balanced information about George W. Bush and how he handled critical situations (e.g., domestic spying vis-a-vis telephone records to highlight the difficulty battling terrorism and the effect of Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina). Because Bush's achievements are noted along with his failures, the reader can understand issues and make informed judgments about the actions Bush took. Personal information is also provided about his early years, including marriage to Laura, entry into politics, relationships with other family members, a decision to stop drinking, and his choice to become a Christian fundamentalist. The book ends with the conclusion that, when Bush left office, "historians agreed that they would need decades to truly judge his presidency" (p. 86). Chapter sub-headings are helpful. Red sidebars with white font add to content and provide background context (e.g., historical information regarding foreign affairs from Monroe in 1821 help explain the Bush Doctrine). A variety of well-chosen high quality color and older black and white photos enhance content. Backmatter includes: a timeline, chapter notes with complete citations, a glossary, books and websites for additional information, bibliography (books, articles, media), and index. Highly recommended for a better understanding of a complicated presidency. Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ed.D.