Election! A Kid’s Guide to Picking Our President, 2012 Edition

Election!  A Kid’s Guide to Picking Our President, 2012 Edition by Dan Gutman.  Open Road Integrated Media, 2012. 162 pages.  Recommend for ages 8-12.  ISBN: 9781453270660.

Election! Addresses the process of electing a president of the United States. It discusses the presidency, our system of government, how a campaign works, who can be a candidate for president of the United States, how voting works in the United States, and finally how the election itself works.

Information is presented as answers to questions. Each answer is between half a page and a page and a half long.  You can dip into the book and find a few answers to questions, or read the book cover to cover.  Reading it from cover to cover is easy, because after reading the answer to one question, the reader gets hooked and wants to know the answer to the next question.

Dan Gutman’s writing style is accessible.  At the beginning of the section on the electoral college he writes “You’d better sit down for this. Lock yourself in a room and don’t do any texting for a few minutes.”(page 109).

Gutman includes an impressive amount of history, and this real life information helps to keep the book from being boring.

I was surprised to see that “Primaries have only been around since the 1970s.” (page 62).  I clearly remember the night of the California primary in 1968.  It was the night Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.  Given the accuracy of the rest of the book, I suspect the use of “1970” was an error in typing or editing.

At the end of the book, there’s a glossary, a list of places to find more information, and a list of all the presidents.  Unfortunately, there’s no index.

Election! Is a fun way to find how American Presidential politics work.


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