Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics

Overview

Catherine Thimmesh’s inspiring look at the role of women in American politics—past, present, and future—is now available with updated sections on Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi. From the time our government was being formed, women have fought their way from behind the scenes to the center of power and decision making. So, why not a woman in the White House? Two thousand eight may be the year!

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Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics

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Overview

Catherine Thimmesh’s inspiring look at the role of women in American politics—past, present, and future—is now available with updated sections on Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi. From the time our government was being formed, women have fought their way from behind the scenes to the center of power and decision making. So, why not a woman in the White House? Two thousand eight may be the year!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thimmesh (Think of Everything) offers brief, colorful profiles of politically influential women throughout American history, plus those of four female leaders from other countries. Beginning with several First Ladies and women's rights activists, the author proceeds to congresswomen and presidential cabinet members. Along the way, she spotlights individuals responsible for some impressive "firsts": Eleanor Roosevelt, the first U.S. delegate to the United Nations; Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives in 1917; Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female Supreme Court justice; and Condoleezza Rice, the first woman to hold the position of national security advisor. Thimmesh's introductory words about Rice exemplify the narrative's informal, breezy style, brimming with quirky anecdotes: "She is Teflon tough. Supergirl strong. But even the best of the best have weaknesses and hers happens to be shoes: flats, pumps, spikes." The author effectively incorporates the women's own voices with quotes (set off in blue type). Pages presenting pictures of and dialogue among contemporary kids amount to superfluous filler. First-time book illustrator Jones contributes spare, colored pencil portraits featuring a subdued palette, which occasionally bear little resemblance to the subjects. A notable exception is a remarkable double-page rendition of the White House, an intricate mosaic composed of photos of children's faces. A lively introduction to women's political achievements. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What are the constitutional requirements to be a candidate for the presidency of the United States—the person must be a natural born citizen at least 35 years old and have been a resident for 14 years. There is nothing about sex or race. The book opens with people proclaiming what they want to be and one in particular is a young lady with pigtails who has the temerity to state that she is going to be the president of the United States. This leads to comments from friends and family noting that she could be the wife of a president, she can vote for the president, she could work in Congress or obtain a presidential appointment or even consider being vice president. Each of these suggestions segues into a presentation of presidential wives (Abigail Adams, Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalyn Carter, Lady Bird Johnson and Hillary Clinton), political appointees such as Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice, and women who were firsts in Congress like as Jeanette Rankin, Margaret Chase Smith and Nancy Pelosi. The page with the young gal sitting with a placard that says "We're 52" is an eye-opener. "Guess where America ranks regarding women in worldwide governing bodies?' "Fifty-second. And tied with Slovakia." Then readers learn about some of the women who have served as leaders in their countries. I especially loved the illustration of Margaret Thatcher in a suit of armor with a ruff around her neck. (Having heard her personally in the British Parliament, I can attest that this was one formidable lady and one who really impressed me with her intellect and leadership). The really terrific part of this book is that our young lady is not dissuaded. She learns what the requirements forthe presidency are and makes it clear that she meets the qualifications and therefore can run for the presidency. It is only fitting that in one of the closing spreads, she is shown walking toward the White House with a young man stating "After you, Madam President." This is a book that should be in every library. It is informative, lively and a great booster for female self-confidence. After reading it and another new book entitled A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull, the quiz on the back cover and the answers should galvanize all women to get more involved in politics; and who knows, in the next decade or so maybe we will have a woman president in the U.S. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 8 up.
—Marilyn Courtot
VOYA
Organized by category-American first ladies, suffragists, congresswomen, senators, political appointees, and foreign national leaders-and tied together with commentary from an aspiring Madam President-to-be and her initially dubious but ultimately supportive family, Thimmesh provides an excellent primer in international women's political history. The style of each notable woman's profile expands and refines the format Thimmesh used to award-winning effect in Girls Think of Everything (Houghton Mifflin, 2000/VOYA August 2000) and The Sky's the Limit (Houghton Mifflin, 2002/VOYA June 2002). The illustrations-not collages this time, but witty pencil drawings reminiscent of Robert McCloskey's energetic drafting style-complement the lively text outlining each subject's achievements and featuring each woman's thought-provoking remarks regarding her life's work. Thimmesh treats subjects from every point on the political spectrum with enthusiasm and respect and includes the lives and accomplishments of women whose names will be unfamiliar to most readers. Thus Charlotte Woodward (the only signer of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions who lived to vote in a federal election) follows Declaration drafter Elizabeth Cady Stanton, while former Icelandic President Vigdis Finnbogadottir (who served for twenty years) precedes Margaret Thatcher. A time line makes room for information about memorable politically active women who could not be included in the main text, while thorough source notes provide further reading for assignments. Although it is unlikely that this book will be popular leisure reading, its appealingly succinct format, excellent research, and fine illustrations make it alogical first resource for younger teens in search of inspiration and research ideas. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Houghton Mifflin, 80p.; Illus. Source Notes. Chronology., $17. Ages 11 to 15.
—Sophie Brookover
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Thimmesh provides 23 thumbnail sketches of women involved in politics in the United States and abroad. Her subjects are divided into six categories and tied together by cartoon vignettes of a young girl who wants to be president. Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O'Connor, Geraldine Ferraro, and Margaret Thatcher are among the more obvious choices. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Nancy Pelosi, and Mrs. J. L. Burn are less well known. The author briefly highlights each individual's primary achievements and importance and includes a well-chosen quotation from each one. An impressive list of source material and a time line conclude the presentation. Jones's color cartoons add interest and supplementary tidbits of information. Kathleen Krull's Lives of Extraordinary Women (Harcourt, 2000) covers a longer time span and contains longer entries; Thimmesh's title seems aimed at a slightly younger audience. A good choice in this election year, Madam President is an entertaining and informative choice.-Elaine Fort Weischedel, Millbury Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7- Originally published in 2004, this revised edition features a new cover and updated information on Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Condoleezza Rice, with entries on the time line representing their recent milestones. As in the earlier version, a girl and her friends discuss the possibilities of her presidential aspirations, providing a clever backdrop to 23 brief biographies of First Ladies, congresswomen, world leaders, and other significant women in politics. The entries are lively and informative, and each one includes at least one well-chosen quotation from the featured figure. Entertaining pencil drawings, colored with Photoshop, shift deftly from humorous scenes of the girl and her friend to more stately depictions of the women, maintaining a distinctly entertaining style throughout. All other text and illustrations are unchanged, except for the revised American ranking "regarding women in worldwide governing bodies." "At last count, sixty-eighth. A drop of sixteen spots since 2004." Clearly that statistic won't discourage the young presidential hopeful, who seems more determined than ever after hearing about the successful women who have paved the way.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

From the Publisher
A stunning mosaic of the White House...This...offers a spectacular mix of entertainment, information, and inspiration." Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Delightful and informative ." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

A lively introduction to women's political achievements.
Publishers Weekly

A sassily organized and argued rallying cry for girls-soon-to-be-women to stake a claim for Executive Office.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Thimmesh treats subjects from every point on the political spectrum with enthusiasm and respect...an excellent primer in international women's political history.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

A good choice in this election year, Madam President is an entertaining and informative choice.
School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618971435
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/18/2008
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 664,531
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

CATHERINE THIMMESH is the Sibert Medal–winning author of Team Moon and Girls Think of Everything. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her family. Visit her website at www.catherinethimmesh .com.

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