From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—This update of the 2005 edition includes a large cover photo of Barack Obama, a foreword by him, revised coverage of George W. Bush's tenure, and a brief overview of Obama's political career and election. Four new two-page essays about topics related to the presidency—White House traditions, the relationship between presidents and the Supreme Court, the use of pollsters and polling in elections and governance, and campaigning—have been added. Two previous essays about campaigns and elections have been removed, leaving a total of 18 essays with subjects ranging from a history of the White House to the elder-statesman role played by former presidents. The remainder of the book is unchanged. The profiles range from one to six pages in length and are divided into six groups based upon broad historical eras. Each entry includes information and anecdotes about the man's family, education, political career and administration, and post-presidency. They all include a full-page reproduction of the president's official portrait and high-quality photos and illustrations. This book is attractive and readable and is a good choice for libraries that do not hold earlier editions and need material on the presidents. However, despite the inclusion of information about Obama, the revisions are not significant enough to warrant replacement by libraries that own the previous edition.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
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It’s easy to see that this edition of the title has been updated: there’s a photo of Barack Obama on the cover, and he wrote the foreword. (In the 2005 volume, it was written by George Bush.) This exceedingly attractive offering is still chock-full of information, presented by veteran writer Bausum in such an inviting manner that children will enjoy paging through, even if there’s no school report looming. Each president is introduced with a full-page portrait, and the other historic images and photos are excellent. The book begins with an introduction to the presidency, followed by an initial time line (continued at intervals throughout the book) that explains what was happening in the U.S. The sketches of the presidents range from one page (Franklin Pierce) to five pages (Franklin Roosevelt). Full of interesting tidbits as well as solid information, the entries are supplemented by spreads on topics such as polling and the 2008 election. A thoughtfully prepared book. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper
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