Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Whitney Messenger over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. Head on over there to see a list of Middle Grade Reviews by a variety of awesome bloggers (who are organized enough to remember to send in their links, unlike some people...)

Clark, Catherine. How Not To Run For President.
Aidan is playing in the middle school marching band when presidental hopeful Bettina Brandon comes to his Ohio town to campaign. He is interviewed, since his mother has just been laid off from local company FreezeStar, and manages to push Ms. Brandon out of the way of a falling sign. Both to thank him and to add some interest to her campaign, Aidan is asked to go on the trail with Ms. Brandon and her daughter, Emma, who is not only Aidan’s age but very bratty. For a while, Aidan’s heroism and his family’s plight (illustrative of the type of family situation Brandon is trying to rememdy with her campaign) gain supporters, but after a while, typical mudslinging starts to occur. Aidan’s dog is purebred rather than a mutt. His mother was fired, not laid off. Having gained a glimpse into the political world, Aidan returns home disillusioned but also more realistic in his understanding of people and situations.
Strengths: I liked that the candidate was a woman AND an independent. I thought that the Ohio settings were true to life. Good cover, and a rare funny, realistic book for boys.
Weaknesses: Never really felt connected to Aidan, and there wasn’t as much plot or action as I would have liked for this target audience.

There have been a fair number of "presidential" books for boys-- combine the books below with a selection of presidential biographies, and there's a ready made display. Just be careful if you have Joanna Hurwitz's Class President-- check out the Awful Library Books web site for the reason why (and a good laugh)! And, yes, that is Blendon Middle School's own copy of Sharon Draper's Sassy mentioned. I'm not quite sure how to fix it!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read FIRST BOY (and my son and I love Gary D. Schmidt) so we'll be checking that out for sure.