Grace for President

( 4 )


"Where are the girls?"

When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school's mock election!

Author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought—and offers an inspiring example of ...

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"Where are the girls?"

When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school's mock election!

Author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought—and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

Lisa Von Drasek
Grace for President is an excellent picture book on the campaign process.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

DiPucchio (Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom!) delivers a lively and well-timed lesson on the electoral system. Grace, dismayed to learn there has never been a female U.S. president, announces she'd like to hold that office someday. Calling it a "star-spangled idea," the teacher organizes an election, with each student representing a different state and casting its allotted number of electoral votes. Depicted with comical hyperbole in Pham's (Freckleface Strawberry) characteristic style, Grace's superstar opponent is smart, popular, athletic Thomas. Shrewdly calculating that the boys hold more electoral votes than the girls, Thomas studies and plays soccer while Grace diligently delivers speeches, offers free cupcakes, holds rallies and even begins to fulfill her campaign promises (the text doesn't comment on the other obvious difference: Thomas is white and Grace is a child of color). Not surprisingly, a boy casts the winning ballot for Grace, proclaiming her "the best person for the job." High-spirited images include Grace posing as Lady Liberty, speaking from the top of a bunting-draped jungle gym and kissing a baby. (The don't-miss-it picture is at the beginning, of kids looking at a poster containing the presidents' portraits, all of them rendered to an almost photographic likeness by Pham). An endnote clarifies the workings of the Electoral College. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
When Grace examines her classroom poster of U.S. presidents, she asks in astonishment, "Where are the girls?" Right then and there, she decides to run for president of her grade against popular Thomas Cobb. Each student in the classroom then becomes a state with a certain number of electoral votes. But while Grace is speaking about the issues and holding rallies, Thomas slacks off. Since the boys outnumber the girls, he figures his victory is a shoo-in. What boy would vote for a girl? On election day, everything hinges on the final vote from Sam, who is representing Wyoming, the Equality State. Through a realistic child-centered situation, author Kelly DiPucchio creates a believable story about classroom politics, reflected nicely in LeUyen Pham's dynamic illustrations. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4- When her teacher displays a poster of all the American presidents, Grace asks with alarm, "Where are the girls?" Dismayed to learn that there have been no women, she announces that she will run for president someday. Mrs. Barrington proposes that she practice by running for president of the elementary school, and the race is on. Her formidable opponent is Thomas Cobb, spelling-bee champion, science-fair winner, and soccer-team captain. DiPucchio succeeds at the daunting task of explaining the Electoral College to young children as the other students are randomly assigned to represent states and their corresponding number of delegates. The illustrations of Grace capture a sense of boundless enthusiasm. Her loose dreadlocks bouncing, she seems to almost jump from the page as she throws herself into the campaign. Grace is African American, but race is never discussed as the delegates quickly begin dividing themselves along gender lines. Oddly enough for a book about equality, there are a few stereotypes present. Grace gives away cupcakes while Thomas studies his science. At the mock convention, the delegates line up to cast their votes. The boy representing Alaska looks like an Eskimo dressed in a hooded fur coat while the girl from Arizona wears a feathered headdress. The story shows how difficult an election campaign can be, as Grace tries to be everywhere and do everything possible to win support. Thought-provoking and timely, this book will be useful in discussing both the positive and negative aspects of United States election campaigns.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Mrs. Barrington rolls out a poster displaying all the U.S. presidents' portraits, the observing and bold Grace Campbell asks, "Where are the GIRLS?" Learning from her teacher that a female head of state is yet to be, Grace decides she will become the first woman president-of her grade, that is. Running against her rival Thomas Cobb in Mr. Waller's class proves to be more challenging than anticipated. Through the process, Grace campaigns diligently, creates platforms and learns how the Electoral College operates. DiPucchio demonstrates the intricacies of the process with each boy and girl representing one of the states and their corresponding electoral votes. Creating a bit of fait-accompli drama, she has readers assume the favored will be "the best man for the job" Thomas Cobb, since all the boys hold a few more electoral votes than the girls. But true democracy prevails when the last state of Wyoming casts its three remaining votes for "the best person" and Grace is declared the winner. Pham's deeply toned opaque and textured paintings of a multicultural group of children bring out the various details of each phase of a campaign. A timely, well-constructed explanation brought down to a level anyone can comprehend. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423139997
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 83,946
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly DiPucchio ( has written several children's picture books including the New York Times bestseller Grace for President, Bed Hogs, Liberty's Journey, and Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom! A graduate of Michigan State University, Kelly lives in southern Michigan with her husband and three children.

LeUyen Pham ( is the prolific and bestselling illustrator of many books for children, including Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore and God's Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Pham has also written and illustrated her own works, including All the Things I Love About You and Big Sister, Little Sister. A former animator for Dreamworks, she lives with her husband and two sons in San Francisco

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2008

    Great Story!

    I came across this book in B&N recently, and I fell in love with it. The story is compelling, and even though I'm an adult, I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. Not only does it teach about fairness, it also explains the Electoral College to children. I highly recommend this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2008

    Highly recommended

    My six year old daughter loves this book. The illustrations are adorable and it's a fun story. It's also educational. It emphasizes voting for candidates because they listen to the people, have good ideas, and demonstrate good deeds, as opposed to voting for candidates because they are popular or look like the voter. It also explains the electoral college in a way that is easy for anyone to understand.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2008

    Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio and LeUyen Pham

    Kelly DiPucchio's first book, Bed Hogs was published in 2004. Though she may seem fairly new at publishing, she is a wonderful author who writes in an attractive style for adults and children of all ages. With all of her books, she seems to be paired with wonderful illustrators.<BR/><BR/>In Grace for President, a young girl, Grace, learns that there has never been a female president in United States' history during a class lesson. She decides she will be first, and immediately starts her campaign in the school's mock election. Grace realizes this will be a tough race because Thomas Cobb is running against her. He is popular and great at everything he does, and seems to have all the male votes. Grace decides she can only concentrate on being the best person and proving she will follow through on promises made before elections. Who do you think will win the presidency?<BR/><BR/>I think this is an excellent way to introduce not only our American electoral system to children, but also the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought. It is a very inspiring story that includes a lesson on how to make the right decision when choosing our leaders. I believe the best audience for this would be around third or fourth grade, and both genders, who can actively participate in their own mock elections and do well at making predictions and explaining the reasoning behind them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Highly recommend

    I read it with my two 5th grade social studies classes and they totally got the electoral college voting. Made more since to them than most adults :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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