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Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama Paperback – March 1, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country includes such advice as:
"If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii."
Chad Timsing, age 9, Los Angeles

"I really hope you put America back together. No pressure though."
Sheenie Shannon Yip, age 13, Seattle

"1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter. 2. Walk in. 3. Wipe feet. 4. Walk to the Oval Office. 5. Sit down in a chair. 6. Put hand sanitizer on hands. 7. Enjoy moment. 8. Get up. 9. Get in car. 10. Go to the dog pound."
Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

And, while it wasn't advice, exactly, we thought this was worth sharing:
"You are just like a big me."
Avante Price, age 7, Seattle

"A hilarious and touching collection of letters compiled at 826 Valencia in San Francisco and the writing center's half dozen chapters across the country."
San Francisco Chronicle

"(Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country)... offers a moving snapshot of children's lives in the waning days of 2008."
USA Today

"A collection of childhood wisdom that just might make a difference in the difficult times ahead."
— MSNBC/ NBC Chicago

"Preternaturally sagacious youngsters from 826 National's various tutoring centers across the country chimed in to the national dialogue with their advice, concerns and hopes for their new president."
LA Times

"With John as editor, Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: A Collection of Kids' Letters to President Obama has become a much-talked about project that, at its core, is really a child's perspective on the notions of hope, ideals and challenges facing the 44th president of the United States."
Tahoe Daily Tribune

From the Back Cover

Dear Barack Obama,

Something happened to me: I went out to lunch at Starbucks and I wanted to buy a cup of whipped cream and normally it’s 43 cents, but now it’s 74 cents! The price raised 31 cents for no reason. So you should probably try to change things like that from happening. You should keep an eye out for things like that.

Love,

Alexis Feliciano, age 9, Brooklyn

 

Dear President Obama,

What is your favorite holiday? My favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween. I would be a good president and stop bad drugs. What stuff is in the White House? Answer here: _________________________________

 

You would never say bad words because you would never break the law.

Sincerely,

Kevin Cordova, age 7, Los Angeles

 

Dear President Obama,

I know you want to save the Earth, but people don’t want to clean. My life is to clean up all the world and help you to clean. I always dream of cleaning the world for you. I’ll do anything for you because you are the president in this world.

Stephanie Gonzalez, age 7, Los Angeles

 

Dear President Barack Obama,

When I was watching television on November 4th, I started crying because I was so happy. Everyone in my neighborhood kept honking their cars, yelling, and texting their friends about how you had been elected the 44th president.

My friend's dad is going to open a new ice-cream store right in front of my house and they are going to try to open it on January 20th in honor of you. :) My family and I have been talking about when you become president that it is going to be very hard. Don't worry, you have me, my family, my friends, and St. James School to support you. Just remember that you have two wonderful daughters that love you and a wife that loves you too and remember that she is as beautiful as a rose.

Well, thanks, and I hope you have a great time running the country. :) Sincerely, Yoselin Teresa Martinez Xonthe, San Francisco

 

Dear President Obama,

If I were president, I would tell people to not talk too much. It wastes time. If I were the president, you wouldn’t have to pay rent. When you go to the store, you wouldn’t have to pay for sure! I’d also say to war: no more, no more, no more!

Catherine Galvan, age 6, Chicago

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's; 1 edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934781576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934781579
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. R. Green on January 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book, above all, (above being funny or cute or heartrending, which it most certainly is, often within a page, within a sentence) is about optimism. The letters are teeming with it. Unbounded, undiluted, genuine optism. The kids ask the President for help, (for their family, for their school, for the world) give detailed advice on how he should best execute the helping, and they truly believe he will listen. Then, of course, they talk about their favorite snack, or tell on their classmates.

The organization (called 826 National) that collected and benefits from the proceeds of this book is a group of tutoring and writing centers all over the country. More than just containing optimism, Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country inspires it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book so my children could connect with how other children were feeling about our president and as a conversation starter on important issues - which it does well. Well, it's hilarious. Read this in the commercials during Jon Stewart. Some of the children are completely serious - and very insightful. Other letters are concise and what you would expect. However, there are some real gems - "buy donuts, eat donuts" - that make this a book to leave out with on the coffee table. And, yes, it is amazing to see how many children were touched by this election.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of letters is perfectly timed. After the 24 hour news channels have pumped us up with flag waving graphics and pundits chiming in on the historic nature of this inauguration, this book is a perfect tonic. The students' letters to Obama are simple but effective. Nothing is as persuasive as the truth: "Whatever happened to McCain?", "Obama - The Best Precedent," and "You are just like a big me." The authors (all associated with various 826 non-profit tutoring centers) are serious, inquisitive, personal, and often very, very funny. These kids have created a great time capsule of the enthusiasm found lately with the young and old.
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Format: Paperback
This book shows just how far Obama's message of hope has spread- all the way through to those non-voting 18 and under. And, as we're told, their hope is not just the "mirror reflections of (these kids') parents"; their thoughts and words of wisdom are truly their own. Buying this book just might be the perfect way to not only commemorate Obama's 2008 victory, but to also continue giving kids a voice.
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Format: Paperback
This book just slays me. It's hysterical ("I think you could have won even without Mr. McCain's help") and heartbreaking ("My neighbors think that I am just another Latino that is going to ruin her life"). It's not the least bit precious or cutesy -- just honest and funny and an unbelievably enjoyable read. I couldn't get enough.
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Format: Paperback
Jory John's collection of letters written by youngsters being tutored for free at 826 National (non-profit) centers across the U.S. is priceless for their sincerity and selflessness. Following are some examples - some from letters reproduced in their original handwriting in the book.

Examples of wanting to help - volunteering to help "clean up the world," suggestions on first things to do - "Meet with your helpers. Get a puppy." "If I were your helper when you move in, I could move everything!"

Sample requests - "Can you stop pollution?" "One thing you could do is fix the economy. The price (at Starbucks) raised (sic) 31 cents for no reason. So you should probably tray to change things like that from happening." "Could you help my family get housecleaning jobs?"

Pledges of support - "I trust you!" "I wanted to tell you that I am arabic (sic) and I heard you were half way arabic (sic)."

What they would do, if president - "If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii." "As president, I would move into the White House and get some people to help me with my homework." I learn in school every day, but people don't listen, like David." I would give the poor people more money so they don't have to look for food in the trash can."

And finally, - "I wish I was your long lost son."
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By Kate B. on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In times as complicated as ours, it's refreshing to see things from a child's perspective. This book is a collection of letters written shortly after the 2008 election, addressed to the new president. In their letters, children as young as five offer their new leader advice, ask him questions, and beg for his help. At times heartbreaking and at times hilarious, this book is a simple reminder of the themes that make us Americans and the children on whom we must focus our attention and aid.
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