The Kid Who Ran for President (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 29 )

Overview

Alice and Patrick are getting married! They have to plan a wedding and honeymoon and set up a home, all for five thousand dollars -- as an assignment for a Critical Choices unit in health class. And some of their classmates are facing even tougher make-believe situations.

But sometimes Alice feels as if her real life is just as complicated. Critical Choices is supposed to teach Alice and her friends how to ...

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Overview

Alice and Patrick are getting married! They have to plan a wedding and honeymoon and set up a home, all for five thousand dollars -- as an assignment for a Critical Choices unit in health class. And some of their classmates are facing even tougher make-believe situations.

But sometimes Alice feels as if her real life is just as complicated. Critical Choices is supposed to teach Alice and her friends how to make decisions -- but how can you plan for anything when life seems like an obstacle course?

While planning a wedding as part of an assignment for her eighth-grade health class, Alice thinks about her father's and older brother's love lives and learns that you cannot prepare for all of life's decisions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It doesn't take much for sixth-grader Judd Moon's best friend, Lane, to convince him that a kid rather than a grownup should lead the U.S. into the new millennium-and that Judd is just the boy for the job. Fast-talking Lane grabs the reigns as his pal's campaign manager and the intrepid duo quickly obtains the necessary signatures to get Judd on the ballot for the Presidential election of 2000 (the novel opens in 1999). Lining up a blue-eyed, blond classmate as his "First Babe" and a wise if cynical elderly African American woman as his running mate, Judd establishes the Lemonade Party (named for the commodity sold at his first fund-raiser) and promises to abolish all homework if his peers can convince their parents to vote for him. As the rookie politician's campaign takes off at a rollicking clip, readers will be caught up in the inventive absurdity of Gutman's (Taking Flight) plot. Despite the preposterous premise and the characters' endless stream of unrealistically clever quips and wisecracks, the author pulls off a feat as impressive as Judd's victory: he actually makes his hero a credible 12-year-old. This snappy, lighthearted farce will win kids' votes. Ages 9-13. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
"Hi! My name is Judson Moon. I'm 12-years-old and I'm running for President of the YOU-nited States." At first this seems like a prank but with the help of his shrewd campaign manager, Lane Brainard, they map out their strategy. The Kid Who Ran For President is a fast-paced satire on politics. Set in the year 2000, Judson says, "Grown-ups have had a thousand years to mess up the world. Now it's our turn." It may seem frivolous at times, but it's a sure-fire way to grab kids' attention and discuss the election process. Judson's running mate is his former babysitter, Mrs. June Syers, who is "old, black, and smart." She is one-of-a-kind and he needs her.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Dan Gutman gives a satirical, comedic view of politics in The Kid Who Ran for President. Judd is a sixth grader who's best friend, Lane, persuades him to run for office because he's got all it takes. ("You're tall. You've got good hair. People like you.") So begins the political career of a third party candidate and the first child to run for political office. As Judd explains to a reporter, "Grown-ups have had the last one thousand years to mess up the world. Now it's our turn."
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In this newest stage of Alice's journey to adulthood, the appealing heroine begins eighth grade with a million questions and few answers. Her health teacher, Mr. Everett, has assigned the members of the class various real-life scenarios to investigate and come to terms with. Some of Alice's friends are facing teenage pregnancy, shoplifting, totaling a car, and arranging a funeral. Alice and her friend Patrick are to plan their wedding, honeymoon, find an apartment, and buy furniture on a very limited budget. With her great sense of humor, Naylor once again captures the true turmoil of adolescence. The awkward feelings and questions about budding bodies and an awareness of the opposite sex are handled in a true-to-life but lighthearted and sensitive manner. Some questions go unanswered, but life will eventually fill in those blanks. Naylor obviously has fun exploring friendship, family, relationships, and even love. With all of these issues permeating the story, Alice and her friends are a little more serious than in previous titles, but readers will still find plenty to laugh at and cheer about. Alice in Lace leaves readers wanting to see where life will take Alice next but still hoping that she won't grow up too fast.-Tracey Kroll, Brookland Middle School, Richmond, VA
Hazel Rochman
What happens if you get pregnant? What happens if you're caught shoplifting? How much does a wedding cost? Alice's eighth-grade health class is studying Critical Choices: investigating and role-playing "how the choices you make now can affect the rest of your life." The latest in Naylor's wonderful series about Alice is more didactic than usual: like Anne Fine's "Flour Babies" (1994), the story openly explores such issues as unplanned, unwanted pregnancy and how babies can begin--and end--dreams. There's a contrived subplot in which an angry girl in the class falsely accuses the teacher of sexual harassment; but for most of the story, Alice's comic, affectionate narrative captures the bumblings and failures and intimacies of growing up female now. As Alice and her classmates try out adult roles, it's a bit like playing house and dress-up; it's also very clear that lack of planning can mean serious trouble. The message is all the more convincing because it isn't simplistic. Naylor is honest--you can't control everything that happens to you, nor would you want to.
Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old is a candidate for US President in this novel by Gutman (Gymnastics, p. 602, etc.), a story with all the trappings of satire, but none of its substance.

Affable but unambitious Judson Moon is judged the perfect candidate by his quick-witted, shrewd pal, Lane Brainard. No obstacle is too difficult for Lane: Soon Judson has the ideal running mate, an elderly black woman ("We're a perfect team. I'm young and she's old, I'm white and she's black"); contributions from his peers around the country add up to $20 million to finance the campaign; Congress abolishes the age requirement for executive office. One further suspension of disbelief is required, for Judson wins the election and resigns on the same night. Readers may find Judson's sense of humor more precocious than funny, and may recognize in him a nightmarish blend of glibness, mediocrity, and a touch of apathy—in other words, a politician. But Judson's character remains unchanged by the election, and his condemnation of adults at the climax rings hollow, offering no clarion call to rally his generation. The easy ending serves to highlight the book's main flaw of trading silly jokes and lukewarm repartee for biting commentary and resonant moments. Rather than allowing Judson to emerge a leader, Gutman settles the American public with just one more class clown.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613035620
  • Publisher: Sanval, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 156
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Gutman
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

PHYLLIS NAYLOR has been her own boss for the twenty years that she has been writing full time. She has had published thirty-five books and almost two thousand short stories. She lives with her husband, Rex, and their two sons, Jeff and Mike, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Some of the jobs that various members of the family have tried include: running a lemonade and pretzel stand; washing windows; passing out theater handbills; stuffing envelopes; digging ditches; cleaning bricks; mowing lawns; typing; tarring a roof; writing a newspaper; baby-sitting; ringing a bell; guiding people through a haunted house; selling Christmas cards, candy bars, and sea shells; and killing bean beetles.

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Read an Excerpt

That night at the dinner table, I told Dad and Lester, my soon-to-be twenty-one-year-old brother, about Mr. Everett's class and how I was going to learn to make decisions.

"Excellent idea!" said Dad. "For once the schools are teaching something practical."

"I'm going to learn what to do if I total the car or get pregnant," I added.

Dad stopped chewing.

"Will they accept questions from the outside?" asked Lester.

"Will they help me decide between a brunette and a redhead?"

But Dad interrupted. "Al," he said, "if you're thinking, even remotely, of having sex . . "

"I'm not," I told him. "Well, I think about it, of course, but I'm not about to do anything."

My real name is Alice McKinley, but Dad and Lester call me Al. I think it's because Mom died when I was small that Dad freaks out about me sometimes. It's true that he and Lester don't know diddly about raising a girl, but it bothers Dad a lot more than it bothers Lester.

I chewed thoughtfully on a carrot stick. "Actually, the situations he's going to assign us seem sort of hokey. Who sits down and thinks, 'I guess I'll go total the car tonight' or 'Dad, I want to have a teenage pregnancy'? Sometimes things just happen."

"That's the point," Dad said. "These things happen because nobody thought they would. Nobody did any planning. Somebody has a few beers and gets in his car, or a girl has sex with her boyfriend. They're not thinking 'car wreck.' They're not thinking 'baby.'"

I sighed. Life, as far as I could see, was going to be a sort of obstacle course, with detours, yield signs, stop signs, and cautions.

"What I wish," I said, "is that I was born with a built-in buzzer, and whenever I was about to dosomething incredibly stupid, it beeped."

"You were," said Dad. "It's called conscience."

"Dad, every time I listen to my conscience it sounds just like you."

"Imagine that," he said.

When we got to health class the next day, Mr. Everett went down the rows passing out worksheets. Each worksheet was different, with one of our names at the top, and as people read their assignments, they groaned or whooped or giggled.

Behind me, Elizabeth gave a gigantic sigh of relief. "All I have to do is buy a car!" she said. "Holy Mary, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Patrick and I got the same situation. We were engaged to be married, our assignments read, and for the next five weeks we were to plan the wedding and honeymoon, rent an apartment, buy furniture, and work out a budget. I could feel my face redden, but secretly I was pleased. I've known Patrick Long since sixth grade, and he's been my boyfriend on and off. At the moment we were on again. Mr. Everett must have noticed.

"Hey, Patrick! Way to go!" Mark called out. All over the room kids were teasing us.

Patrick looks a lot like Mr. Everett, actually, only younger.

He has red hair and he plays the drums. His dad is a diplomat or something, and they've lived in a lot of different countries. I guess it wasn't as exciting for him to marry a girl who was born in Chicago as it was for me to marry him, but he was smiling at me.

"Mr. Everett," called Brian, who is probably the most handsome guy in eighth grade. "If Alice and Patrick are getting married, does this entitle them to all the . . . uh . . . privileges of married life?"

More laughter.

"Hypothetical situation, Brian," said Mr. Everett.

"Hypo- what?"

"Look it up."

Brian's situation was a DWI offense, Jill had to arrange a funeral for her grandmother, Karen got arrested for shoplifting, Mark had supposedly gotten a girl pregnant, Pamela was pregnant, and Elizabeth was buying a car. And this was just the crowd I hang out with. Some of the others had it worse.

Now all the attention focused on Pamela.

"What am I supposed to do, Mr. Everett?" she asked. "If I'm already pregnant, what's there to decide?"

"What's there to decide?" The teacher gave her a quizzical look. "You're going to be a mother, Pamela."

The whole class broke into laughter. When it died down, he went on: "You're going to have another person to look out for, you have to live somewhere, you have to support the two of you -- and you ask me what there is to decide?"

Pamela shrugged. "Well . . . I mean . . . what if I choose an abortion?"

"What if you do? That's what we want to know. What would that mean to you? Or what happens if you decide to give the baby up for adoption? There are 'what ifs' all over the place. That's what this class is about. Thinking things through before they happen. Planning Your life instead of letting events decide things for you.

"Aren't we really supposed to figure out what you think we should do?" asked Karen.

"If I'm a good teacher, you won't even know what I think," Mr. Everett told her. "All the thinking's got to be done by you. And maybe there isn't just one good solution, but several. Have you considered that?"

I'd wondered if there would be enough stuff in this assignment to fill up the next five weeks, and now I knew there was enough to think about for the next five years.

What was embarrassing, though, was that Pamela was supposed to be pregnant, and Mark was supposed to have gotten a girl pregnant, though not necessarily Pamela, but Mark and Pamela weren't speaking, having broken up just before school started. Pamela was going with Brian now, so Mark and Brian weren't speaking, either.

Worse yet, Elizabeth had only been going with Tom Perona for one week when she found out he had two ID bracelets, and had given one to a girl at St. John's, where he goes to school. Pamela and I were furious with Tom. It couldn't have happened at a worse time. Elizabeth had finally gotten to the place where she could kiss comfortably, and now she had to find out that Tom was two-timing her again, just as he did the summer after sixth grade.

"He's nothing but a Tom-cat, Elizabeth. Forget him," I said.

But Elizabeth blamed us instead. She said her breath must smell or her body smelled, and we hadn't told her. If a boy had been going with her only a week before he started seeing someone else, there obviously was something wrong with her, and that's what came of getting physically close to boys. She simply wasn't ready yet. I sort of agreed, knowing Elizabeth.

"You should date a guy from our own school," Pamela said. "If Tom's around other girls all day and never sees you, he's bound to be attracted to somebody else."

But all Elizabeth would say was, "If you had bad breath or something, I'd tell you," so we just gave up.

"Hey, Alice," Patrick said, coming up behind me after class and tickling the back of my neck. "We've got to do this assignment together. We're engaged, right?" He gave my waist a little squeeze. "What do you want to do first?"

We stopped there in the hall and looked over Mr. Everett's assignment:

      Assume that you are high school graduates with no college training, and the maximum you have to spend on your wedding, honeymoon, apartment, and furniture is $5,000.     

"Five thousand dollars!" I gasped. "We're rich, Patrick!"

"Hardly," he said.

"I'll call the Post and find out how much it costs to announce the engagement," I told him.

"I'll ask a travel agent about a honeymoon in Hawaii," said Patrick.

"Hawaii?" I said. "I don't want to go to Hawaii."

"You don't? Where do you want to go?"

I hadn't even thought about it, really. I just wanted a choice in the matter. I tried to think of all the places I'd ever wanted to visit. "Well, Disney World, maybe."

"Disney World? You want to go to Disney World on your honeymoon?"

"Well . . . I want to have a say in it, Patrick. You can't just write down that we're going to Hawaii without asking me first."

"Good grief, they've only been engaged for ten minutes and they're quarreling already," Pamela teased.

"Okay," said Patrick. "Let's each make a list of the five places we'd most like to go on a honeymoon and see if we can agree on one of them."

Copyright © 1996 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Table of Contents

1. King of the Hill 1
2. A Mighty Big Can of Worms 7
3. That Jerk Arthur Krantz 11
4. Family Values 17
5. Abby 21
6. Secret Campaign Strategy 25
7. The First Babe 36
8. Vice-President Syers 39
9. Twenty Million Dollars? No Problem 43
10. I'd Say It Sounds Like a Fake 47
11. The Lemonade Party 52
12. Homework First, Campaigning Later 58
13. A Star Is Born 62
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Funny book

    Have you ever wanted to run for president?
    Well in this book twelve year-old Judson Moon is running for president. His friend Lane is trying to help him. But Judson needs a first lady, a vice-president and twenty million dollars! Will he become president?

    My favorite character is Mrs.Syers because she calls Judson crazy.

    I recommend this book for people in 3rd and 4th grade.
    wilson

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    AWESOME!!!!!!

    LOVE THE BOOK!!! I read it on election night and i was pretty much laughing the ENTIRE time!!!!!! Anybody will LOVE this book! If you havent read it… read it!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    The Kid Who Ran for President

    "Exhilarating! Two thumbs up!" This book was a great book, because it gives out a message to people and young kids to follow their guts and remember "Impossible is Nothing!" Do what you want to do. The story talks about a young 6th grader Judson Moon, who decides to run for the candidacy of President of the U.S.A, Dealing with normal problems of a child and of a politician. A delightful book of a political adventure, read as Judson Moon goes on and campaigns in the poly-sci, political world in The Kid Who Ran for President!I recommend this book for young kids especially; I think that this would be more of a guy type book because not that many girls would enjoy a book like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended for ages 8 - 13!!

    I am a 4th and 5th grade school teacher. I read this book along with the sequel "The Kid Who Became President" every year. My students love the storyline. They also relate to the language used and the main character Judson Moon who is 12 years old. Judson runs for president of The United States (as the title implies) with the help of his best friend Lane Brainard. The author, Dan Gutman, makes children believe anything is possible in the wonderful humorous and lighthearted book. It also contains true facts about how a president is voted into office and the great lengths it takes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    Great Book

    I am eight years old and I spent 3 hours reading this book when I should have been sleeping! It was really good and funny too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    A kid who ran ran for president? This is preposterous! Hey, don't put that book down just yet. Take a look inside and you will find the most amazing book ever! If your not interested in action packed, can not wait to see what happens next books, then go home. So if your still here and interested in this kind of book, sweet. Now if your my type, your mind will blow with exciting and questioning chapters, filled with adventures. So get this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    If you love Dan Gutman, you'll love this [:

    Overall, this book rocked. It was very suspenseful and hilarious. You gotta read it and the sequel [:

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    A Hilarious Book

    Have you ever heard of a kid running for president? If you haven¿t you should read this book. Judson moon is the main character. He has a friend Lane that tells him to run for president. Judson has to pick a vice-president, he has to talk to the newspaper and TV reporters, he has to raise money, and he has to find a first lady. I recommend this book for people who like to win.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    the best in the world SO COOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    every one should read this book.Its just the greatest! I just can't explain it.this book is very funny i just kept on reading it over and over. I think ages 2-100 will enjoy this book.I kept telling my dad that i wanted another book like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    A Book That Deserves the Top

    This book was really good. It showed what a kid can do if he tries(and if the rules are lax) and provides fits of laughter for anyone who reads this. Try this book if you're looking for a fun-filled book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2001

    Non-stop laughs!

    I wish that all required reading could be so much fun. Full of laughs and comedic situations. If politics was this much fun, every kid would definitely want to be President.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Annoymus

    I did not read the book but the cover makes me want to so badly!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Awesome

    In school where learning about the government an eveyon in my class is still loving it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Great book

    This book is a 4th grade book, so i am not goin to read it but other than that it was great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    I love it.

    This book is great it is for all ages i think i am ten and i brezzed through it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

    A very good book

    I love this book soooooo much first ididnt like it know i love it soo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Austin

    Best book ever read its holarios :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Hilarious

    Awsome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Great

    So exiting

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2008

    Ethan Hendrickson

    This Book Is AWESOME.I Am A Sixth-Grader Also And I Like It.If You Are In To Politics Like Voting,Then This Is The Book For You

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

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