Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Book Review: Obama: The Historic Journey Young Reader's Edition

Thanks to Mother Talk, I received a copy of Obama: The Historic Journey. It's 96 pages of information and wonderful pictures for young readers (9-12 years old).

It was a bit "old" for my biggest kids (2nd grade), but I read it to them at night and they ate it up. They asked for this book repeatedly at bed time. Even tonight, when I grabbed it to write my review, they asked me to read it again.

I cannot tell you how amazing the photographs are. The most recent ones from the election are gorgeous. The front and back inside covers have wonderful collages of pictures as well. Many of them, I've never seen before, so they weren't the same old recycled ones the kids have seen over and over again. These are so bright and crisp and really lend quite a bit to the story.

I must say, there were some photographs with which I was disappointed. My daughters are fascinated by President Obama's family. They specifically wanted to see pictures of his sister Maya. There are no clear pictures of her. In his family tree, they use a photo of her, but she appears to be blowing a kiss, so her face is blocked. There are no pictures from President Obama's father's side of the family. The other photographs were so wonderful and unique. We just wish that could have been the case for every one.

It was so interesting to learn more about President Obama and his family. Did you know his mother's name was Stanley because her father wanted a boy? She later went by her middle name. I didn't know that until we read "Chapter 1 A Skinny Kid With A Funny Name." My daughters loved that little tidbit too. They also loved the two-page spread on pages 68 and 69 which listed some more information on the President. We looked at the great candid photos and we read about his shoe size, his exact height (down to the 1/2 inch), his favorite movies, food and hobbies.

The book gets far more in depth than I expected for a book geared towards children. There was quite a bit of coverage given to President Obama's political career and particularly the recent election. Personally, I skipped some because it was a bit too much for my kids, but it's something I know we'll go back to when they're older. Although, even when it was over their heads, they were still able to take a lot away from the book.

Quotations from President Obama were scattered throughout the book. I LOVED that. I'm not sure the kids appreciated it much (When I stopped to read one, I'd hear"Yeah, but what happened next?"), but I certainly did. I read them all and found them absolutely fascinating.

One of the most unexpected things (and my daughters' favorite) was at the end. There, you'll find a section titled "Dear Sir Obama: Presidential Advice." It's an excerpt from "Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama." There, we poured over letters and portraits by children. I think it's the perfect ending.

This is a book and a keepsake. What a wonderful way to explore this amazing time in history with your children! This is the type of book that also serves as a fantastic keepsake. How neat will it be for my daughters to show their children this book in the future!

Obama: The Historic Journey (Young Reader’s Edition)


Pixie LaRouge said...

My oldest two have been fascinated by Obama (my youngest, too, for that matter, but he's 2, so, aside from the pictures, I doubt he'd care much LOL). This book sounds perfect for Van (10). I might even be able to talk him into reading it to his younger sister!

I wonder if I got it this weekend, if he'd take it to the inlaws' next week... *grin*

Giselle said...

That sounds like an awesome book. We followed the elections very closely last year, from the primaries, on through the general elections. My youngest won't have any memories of them at all, but my oldest might. What a wonderful way to help him retain something. Thanks for the thorough review.