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Children's LiteratureMartin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States. He was the first president born an American citizen. The other presidents had been born when America was part of Great Britain. Author Lazo fills this slim book with lots of details. She tells the story of a man who became a lawyer at the age of twenty-one, married Hannah Hoes at the age of twenty-five and became a father of four boys, while practicing law and entering politics. Van Buren was only thirty years old when he became a New York senator. In 1828, Van Buren managed Andrew Jackson's presidential campaign, and a year later, President Jackson appointed him secretary of state. Five years later, he became vice president under Andrew Jackson. In 1936, he was nominated for president of the United States and won the election. Although Jackson never remarried after his wife's death, his son Abraham and his wife Angelica moved into the White House. Angelica proved to be a good hostess for many of the White House social affairs. During his term, Van Buren had to deal with the removal of seventeen thousand Cherokees from their homeland in the southeast to a place called Indian Territory. This arrangement had been made during President Jackson's term, but was not enforced until Van Buren's term of office. Van Buren could not undo a signed treaty that forced the Cherokees on their journey called the Trail of Tears, but he did work to end slavery. In 1844, James Polk defeated Van Buren and became the new president. In 1848, he decided to run for the presidency again because he wanted to do something about ending slavery, but he was defeated by Zachary Taylor, a Whig party candidate. Van Buren died in 1862, only a few months shortof his eightieth birthday. Black and white photographs, sidebars, a timeline, reading and websites, and a bibliography are included. 2005, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 10 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi