Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotA close look at a typical week in the life of a busy Senator. Connie Mack rushes from one meeting to another and travels frequently to Florida to meet with his constituents. The Senator is committed to healthcare and cancer screening in particular. He comes across as hard working, caring, knowledgeable, and willing to fight for issues he believes in. Sobol provides good information about the Senate and plenty of full color photographs without overwhelming the reader. One slight quibble, Senate hearings are not transcribed by official secretaries provided by the Senate; these services are usually provided by outside contract reporting services.
School Library JournalGr 3-6-Sobol follows Senator Connie Mack (R-Florida) as he goes about his busy schedule in the nation's capital: attending committee meetings, giving speeches, voting for or against legislation, conferring with his staff, and visiting constituents. Readers are told that the legistator is especially interested in issues that affect health care and the environment, and in particular the preservation of the Everglades. He is also shown commuting back to Florida many weekends to get to know more about the issues that concern the people of his state. This brief, well-written glimpse into the life of a U.S. Senator can also help students to better understand how government works. The many, good-quality, full-color photos are attractive and informative.-Eunice Weech, M.L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL
Frances BradburnPart of the Government in Action series, "Senator" looks at a national political figure in much the same way that a state politician was examined in "Governor: In the Company of Ann W. Richards, Governor of Texas". Sobol followed Florida Democrat Connie Mack through a hectic week of cancer detection hearings, Senate appropriations meetings, and Everglades environmental agendas, snapping pictures and attempting to explain those complicated political processes. Unfortunately, the processes are too complex for 32 pages. Although the book will certainly give children a feel for the frenetic, diverse pace of a U.S. senator, it contributes almost nothing to a real understanding of the legislative process. Equally unfortunate, little currently exists for young readers about real people in real government.
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