Sunday, September 23, 2012

Election Book Fever

Elections take on a new fervor every four years when we get to elect the President - the Grand Puba - the Leader of the Free World.  It is an exciting time to expose kids to books that help them understand the electoral process because they are surrounded by news about the candidates.

This post I have chosen books that are not only informative but funny, and I have even included a nonfiction book which is actually quite engaging (really it is!)

So may the best book win, and happy reading!

Title:       The Kid Who Ran for President

Author:   Dan Gutman

Target:    Grades 3 - 6

Series:     There is one sequel

What this book is about:
Judson Moon is twelve years old, and after a little convincing from his best friend Lane, he decides to run for president.  While he has no grasp on the issues, a running mate who is an elderly African American woman who used to be his babysitter and a first lady whose platform is to save the silkworm, Lane artfully masterminds Moon’s bid for the presidency as his campaign manager.  Can a twelve year old ever really win the election to become president, or is it all just a joke gone wrong?

Why I love this book:
First off, when my son is laughing so hard he can’t keep reading a section of the book to me, I know the story is a winner.  The clever wisecracks, and funny dialogue are perfect for this target group and it will keep them thoroughly engaged in this story.

Also, while this book is not a civics lesson, it does manage to sneak in quite a lot of good information on how to amend the constitution, the electoral college, journalistic integrity and campaign finance which I think will be especially useful information to know given the impeding election. 

Who this book is for:
This book is funny and at 155 pages, not overwhelming at all.  I think most kids will really enjoy the book and during this election year it will hold even more meaning!

Final thoughts:
A book where a kid could actually be president - how cool is that! 

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Kid Who Ran for President  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       Fake Mustache

Author:   Tom Angleberger

Target:    Grades 3-6

Series:     No

What this book is about:
When Lenny’s best friend Casper decides to use his birthday money to buy the Heidelberg Handlebar Mustache Number Seven, and a man about town suit, no one could foresee the consequences!  The next thing Lenny knows, his friend is robing banks, buying companies and running for office.  Seems his fake mustache has a magical, hypnotic effect on others.  The only ones immune to it’s charms are Lenny and Jodie O’Rodeo, a preteen star of daytime television.  Can Lenny and Jodie save the world from Casper’s greed and his run for the presidency?

Why I love this book:
Well leave it to the author of Origami Yoda to come up with a story like this.  As utterly absurd as this book is, it just works marvelously.  From non stop action, cross dressing, a nasal gun that shoots out fake boogers to the ultra-sticky-stretchy grabber hand, this book has it all.  

Who this book is for:
Kids who love action, fun contraptions and humor will enjoy this book.

Final thoughts:
If ever confronted with the opportunity to purchase the Heidelberg Handlebar Mustache Number Seven - run, don’t walk away from this hairy monstrosity of evil.  That and never count out a has been, preteen daytime tv star.

You can see my son's review of this book at

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O'Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       See How They Run

Author:   Susan E. Goodman

Target:    Grades 4 and up 

What this book is about:
This book is a lighthearted civics class on the history of our democracy, how the system works and interesting facts on the road to the White House.  It is filled with anecdotes, colorful illustrations and side bars with interesting tidbits.

Why I love this book:
This is the perfect example of how a complex topic can be written in a funny and comprehensive way for kids.  The narrator talks to the kids like they are intelligent, humor loving individuals that care about our country and our democracy, and I believe that children will respond by reading this book and absorbing the information.  One of my sons has read this book three times - just for fun!  It never reads like a book of facts but more like a conversation.

I also enjoyed that the book is full of relevant and timely examples.  Once you get into the book, the graphics are fabulous and perfectly on point.  The one criticism I have is that as perfect as the graphics are while you are reading the book, they don’t compel you to pick the book up, and I think kids will simply pass this one over because it doesn’t have anything that draws them in.

Who this book is for:
Great primer for kids on civics without feeling like required reading!  This book should speak to most kids, the biggest obstacle will just be getting them started.

Final thoughts:
This book is a clear winner!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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