Tuesday, November 4, 2008

See How They Run--Susan E. Goodman, Elwood H. Smith (Book Review)

My kids and I have been reading this explanation of the American political process all week. A book for kids and any adults who have a hard time remembering the answers to their inevitable questions about electoral colleges and the history of the different political parties and who is it again who's next in line for president after the v.p?

This isn't a light little picture book by any stretch. There's a lot of information in here, starting with the origins of democracy in ancient Greece and Rome and moving on through the electoral process as it has evolved in the United States. The prose has a congenial tone to it, and is peppered with illustrations, funny drawings by Elwood Smith (teachers and homeschoolers may recognize his style from the ever-popular Owl Puke), and stories (Did you know that the town of Milton, Washington unwittingly elected a mule for mayor in 1938?).

Bloomsbury USA recommends this book for ages 10-14, and I agree. My eight-year old, who is a good read-aloud listener, laughed in the appropriate places, but got bored after a few pages. My eleven-year-old was more engaged, though it's not a book he would have chosen to read to himself. What a terrific resource to have around for kid-friendly but in-depth answers to questions, or to read a chapter or two from as we head towards inauguration day.

Author Susan Goodman has written a variety of children's books and is a contributing writer to the I.N.K. blog (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) which I highly recommend as an online resources for teachers and homeschooling parents.


  1. You should check out Adventurebox. They are great for Kids aged 6-9 and have a Word Alliteration competition on this month!

  2. sounds like a terrific book for kids about politics- thanks for the review :-)