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Children’s Books That I Would Vote For

There’s been a lot of talk about the presidential election in the news, even though it won’t occur until next year.  Still, your kids might be wondering what all the fuss is about and just how do we decide who gets to be president and who will make decisions in our government?  Here are some children’s books that I enjoyed about the election process:

Duck for President, by Doreen Cronin

This silly book introduces kids to the whole concept of running for office while also teaching them that being a leader isn’t as fun or easy as it sounds.  The animals on the farm don’t want to do their chores anymore, so they vote to replace Farmer Brown with Duck.  When Duck realizes that being the farmer gives him even more responsibilities than before, he decides to leave Farmer Brown in charge…while he runs for governor.  It’s funny for kids to watch Duck make the same mistake over and over again and parents will appreciate the bigger jokes about politics, i.e. Duck’s campaign slogan: “Vote for Me!  I’m a Duck, Not a Politician!”

Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio

When Grace’s class learns about the presidents of the United States, she’s shocked to see that no woman has ever been elected.  She applies the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself” and campaigns for school president.  In order to make the election feel more like a real American election, the teachers assign each student a state with a certain number of electoral votes.  So, kids reading this book will also learn about the electoral college.  Kelly DiPucchio wrote an author’s note at the end of the story to explain about the college in more detail and why popular votes are still important.

The Kid Who Ran for President, by Dan Gutman

A lot of kids like Dan Gutman’s My Weird School series.  This is one of his earlier books, which I enjoyed reading when I was growing up.  The main character, Judson Moon, has no interest in politics, but his best friend, Lane, does.  Lane decides that it would be a really cool idea to see if America would elect a kid to be the next president.  Judson goes along with this wild scheme as a joke, but pretty soon, people take his candidacy very seriously.  Gutman acknowledges that by law, a candidate must be at least thirty-five years old.  So, as an added bonus, readers also learn about constitutional amendments.  The book takes a very cynical look at politics, but that’s also what makes it funny.

The Great Greene Heist, by Varian Johnson

Now that your children have learned all they need to know about the election process, here’s a nice story for them about voter fraud!  Just kidding- sort of.

The Great Greene Heist deals with a student council election.  So it should be very appealing to kids in middle school and the upper elementary grades.  The story begins after Jackson Greene gets caught by the principal in the middle of one of his many elaborate pranks.  He decides to clean up his act from that point forward.  But when he hears that his friend, Gaby, is running for student council president against his enemy, Keith, and that Keith plans to sabotage the election so that he is guaranteed to win, Jackson decides he’ll have to put a stop to it with one more con.  The book has been compared to capers like Ocean’s 11 and it is very, very entertaining.

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