Our Presidencyby Karen Bornemann Spies
Describes how the office of the presidency has grown and changed in this country and takes a look at a typical day in a president's life.
Children's Literature - Children's LiteratureThe text in this otherwise excellent book is flawed because it is dated. In the discussion of impeachment on page 34, the author notes that only Andrew Johnson was impeached. Clearly, the book needs to be updated to include the 1999 impeachment of President Clinton. Distinct, color photos highlight and supplement the text, which covers the history of the Presidency, presidential roles, and a day in the life of the president, electing the president, the First Lady and the vice president. The short chapters are succinct and interesting to read. A chart at the back of the book lists each president with his dates of birth and death, party affiliation, and length of term served. This title is one in the publisher's "I Know America" series. 1994, The Millbrook Press, Ages 8 to 12, $20.90 and $8.95. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library JournalGr 3-6-Up-to-date, serviceable additions, presented in a straightforward style, these series entries ably explain, in easy-to-understand language, the democratic process and the executive branch of our government. They are attractively formatted with numerous full-color and black-and-white photos and drawings of historical events. Spies looks at the office of the presidency and how it has changed since 1789. A summary of the events leading to the resignation of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter's defeat by Ronald Reagan, and George Bush's loss to Bill Clinton are included. Steins examines the often confusing election process, two-party system, campaigns, and the importance of some past elections. Students who want more detail about the laws that for decades routinely denied African Americans their constitutional right to vote will need to seek out such titles as Linda Scher's The Vote (Steck-Vaughn, 1992), or James Haskins's The March on Washington (HarperCollins, 1993), which puts the struggle for voting rights in the larger context of the civil rights movement.-Eunice Weech, M.L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL
Childrens Book WatchMillbrook Press produces a range of books for elementary grade studies, from biography to social studies: these are somerecommended new releases. Just in time for the election year are a group of titles recommended for beginners in political science. Karen Spies' Our Presidency offers almost fifty pages of facts about the history and officeof the President, from the election process to the daily life of a President. Elaine Pascoe's Right To Vote (0066-X, $19.90) deserves ongoing recommendation as a fine primer on the voting process. Richard Steins' Our Elections (446-0, $22.90) focuses on the election process and how the political parties evolved. Rebecca Stefoff's Al Gore (433-9, $22.90) surveys his vice presidency and will make an excellent biographical review for any considering the Gore candidacy for President, while Tricia Andryszewsi's Bill Bradley (1669-8, $21.90) reviews the life of the athlete and statesman. Kids studying other cultures will find inviting Andryszewski's Kosovo (1750-3, $23.40), which discusses the splintering of Yugoslavia and the social and political conflicts of the region; and Susan Goodman's Chopsticks For My Noodle Soup (1552-7, $21.40), surveying young Eliza's life in Malaysia. The latter blends very simple text with color photos in an almost picturebook-like presentation but with more cultural insights than most. For biographical reading, choose Mark Stewart's Peyton Manning (1517-9), his Randy Moss (1518-7), his SE RI PAK (1519-5, $19.90 each) or Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson's Carter G. Woodson (1264-1, $24.90): each blend illustrations with plenty of biographical background, with the sports titles providing excellent sports overviews and the Woodson book surveying basic civil rights history. Lisa Trumbauer's Computer Fun: Social Studies (1656-6) and Computer Fun: Writing (1654-X) each provide interactive activity books to help kids enhance their classroom studies and computer skills alike. Each holds curriculum-related activities appropriate for stuy and new computer users. All are recommended picks.
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