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How Is a Government Elected?

How Is a Government Elected?

by Susan Bright-Moore

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sylvia Whitman
The fourth in Crabtree's series "Your Guide to Government," this nonfiction primer outlines the American electoral process through a series of two-page spreads. It defines an election, lists voter eligibility criteria, introduces the Democratic and Republican parties (without attempting to define their character), describes casting a ballot, and follows the presidential election cycle from campaign to primary to convention. Key vocabulary reappears in a glossary and index. Bright-Moore points out that American democracy differs from government in other countries—even other democracies. She stresses the importance of citizen involvement, from gathering signatures on a petition to volunteering to stuff envelopes for a candidate. "We elect leaders to make decisions, but we have a job, too. Our job is to care." Anchoring each spread are two enormous photographs, each with a caption in a call-out box. Occasional fact boxes also break up the text. Some images add no value to the text. Under "Why Do We Vote?" a photogenic young family of four smiles on their couch. "These adults should vote for laws and leaders they believe in." More effective and informative are photos with captions that tie them to a historic moment. Unfortunately, the information is often incomplete and occasionally wrong. The iconic shot of Harry Truman brandishing the newspaper headlined "Dewey Defeats Truman" is labeled: "Harry Truman was elected president in 1984." This book needed careful editing to double-check the integration of photos and text and to question generalizations. The author declares, for example, that "a voting booth is surrounded by curtains," and yet, as the photo reveals, curtains are long gonefrom many polling places. She compares democracy to a family vacation in which each member "votes on where to go." Many kids live in benevolent dictatorships. Informative but sometimes inaccurate, this book requires an adult interlocutor. Reviewer: Sylvia Whitman

Product Details

Crabtree Publishing Company
Publication date:
Your Guide to Government Series
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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