President’s Day Kid Lit Review of “Presidents of the United States”

This thin volume, touted as “backpack-friendly,” contains a short overview of all 45 presidents of the United States, through and including Donald Trump.

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Each entry has facts in brief, a time line, and key historical dates.

In terms of content, I found nothing significant missing that would be appropriate for the intended audience of 8-12 (although it seemed to me that the blatant omission of why Clinton was impeached would only raise more questions).

My main reaction to this book was: why would any kid with computer access want this book instead of, say, checking Wikipedia or Google for the same information? Of course if a child did not have any access, or any frequent access, to online resources, this book would indeed be valuable.

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But in addition, I found it not so interesting. There was nothing there to grab me; no entertaining trivia or statistics (such as, perhaps, how many presidents were named John or in which states were the most presidents born). There are so many fun facts that could have been included, like who was the first president to use a telephone or drive a car; who was the shortest or tallest? Which president went for a swim almost every day in the Potomac River without any clothes? How many presidents died on the Fourth of July and who were they? How many presidents were related to one another? Even if the author had included relevant political cartoons pertaining to each president, it might have added some unusual interest, and made it more appealing to kids.

But I do like the handy size, and I liked the balanced nature of the write-ups.

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Evaluation: If you have a young child who cannot for any reason access the internet easily, this reference guide could be very useful.

Published by Time Inc. Books, 2017

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2 Responses to President’s Day Kid Lit Review of “Presidents of the United States”

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I liked this book a lot more than you did. You should write a book with all the interesting trivia!! I’d buy it.

  2. Rachel says:

    I reviewed this book today too! I also liked it a bit more than you. I think my kids are unique in the fact that they like to read non-fiction. I don’t think most kids do.

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