From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–With a well-designed format and clear, concise prose, these biographies provide glimpses into the lives of their subjects. Brill's description of Obama's childhood is poignant, and the passages dealing with his relationship with his father are especially well written. The author also does a great job of presenting the senator's successes and failures impartially. On the other hand, McElroy's recounting of Gonzales's childhood occasionally becomes sentimental. Sidebars in both titles offer either brief summaries of important sections or interesting insights not mentioned in the texts. Color and black-and-white photographs of the men, beginning in childhood, include private and public-relations shots. Easy to read, factually correct, and serviceable for research.–Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX
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Gr. 5-8. With Obama increasingly in the spotlight, this timely entry in the Gateway Biography series will be in demand. Brill offers a warm, personal portrait of the politician, beginning with his parents' disparate backgrounds and his multinational upbringing and moving through his political awakenings, higher education, and public life. There are no source notes, an omission that is most glaring in references to Obama's personal thoughts and impressions. Still, Brill offers an intimate portrait that is bolstered by her own interviews with Obama's colleagues, schoolmates, and friends. The many photos include Obama's elementary- and high-school-yearbook pictures. Appended material includes a chronology, a glossary, and a brief list of suggested Web sites. The first of what will surely be many biographies for youth about the rising U.S. senator from Illinois. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved