From School Library Journal
Grade 4–7—A lighthearted, fact-filled look at elections in the United States. The engaging conversational narrative and funny cartoons lend appealing irreverence to a topic that can sometimes seem too dry and serious. At the same time, the book covers a lot of ground and introduces concepts and personalities in ways that readers will understand and remember. Coverage includes the electoral college, campaigning, and many other aspects of elections, noting the flaws and absurdities in our system along with the many positive aspects. The text moves deftly back and forth through time within each subject, offering useful and varied historical examples. A section on inaugurations, for example, makes reference to William Henry Harrison's two-hour speech, Bill Clinton's night of dancing, and Andrew Jackson's rowdy White House party. "The Campaign Road" features several amusing instances of varied practices while also providing a cohesive summary of the topic's relevance. Plentiful illustrations utilize humor to demonstrate content, as in the depiction of a man with elongated arms straddling a state line and voting in two states at once. Even the photographs of presidents feature an amusing caption or word balloon. The final chapter addresses the role of kids, offering suggestions for involvement that range from writing letters to "bugging your parents." Informative, entertaining, and timely, this is a fine example of how well-conceived humor can make a potentially complicated topic not only more appealing, but also more comprehensible and even inspiring.—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
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About the Author
The author of dozens of books for kids, Susan Goodman publishes widely on a variety of topics. She lives in Boston, and teaches at Tufts and Lesley. www.susangoodmanbooks.com
Elwood Smith works and lives in Rhinebeck, New York. His retro style is admired by many. He has illustrated several books for children. www.elwoodsmith.com