Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Obama: The Historic Journey"

Thanks to a Mother Talk book tour, I got a chance to look at Obama: The Historic Journey (Young Reader's Edition), a new book from The New York Times/Callaway with text by Jill Abramson. It takes kids through President Obama's story from his childhood and early career, then moves into a more in-depth look at the campaign and election, culminating with Inauguration Day.

It is a visually engaging book, packed with stunning photos from flyleaf to flyleaf. The text, adapted for elementary school readers from the adult version, is easy to read and covers a lot of ground, including everything from personal stories to a breakdown of Obama and McCain's positions on major campaign issues. I appreciated that the author was willing to reference class issues and racism in an age-appropriate way. I was also happy to see his daughters (who, like my daughter, were born to an African-American parent and a biracial parent) included several times in the story and pictures. There was even a brief section devoted to them (did you know Sasha's Secret Service name is 'Radiance'?).

Reading through this brought back so much of the lump-in-the-throat emotion of that whole long season of Obama's candidacy and inauguration. My kids are still too young really understand everything that happened last year. This book will be a helpful resource for them in the future, as it does a good job of capturing for them just why Obama's election was so significant for our country. It will give them some of the context for his declaration from the day he decided to run:

This I know: When I raise my hand and take that oath of office, I think the world will look at us differently. And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently.

(For approx. ages 8-12. Available for $16 at Amazon or $25 at the NY Times Store. My review copy was free via Mother Talk. is an affiliate)


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