Title: So You Want to Be President?
Author: Judith St. George
Illustrator: David Small
Publisher: Philomel Books
Year: 2008 (trade paperback edition)
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.8
Concepts: human resources, jobs, economic role of government
Review: Forty-two men with various credentials, talents, sizes, and interests have served as President of the United States. This fascinating and informative book takes us on a whirlwind tour of some of the more unusual quirks and interesting features of the nation’s presidents since George Washington first assumed the role. For such a big job, some presidents were quite small in stature (James Madison measured five feet four inches and weighed only one hundred pounds) and came from modest backgrounds (Andrew Johnson could not read until he was fourteen, and several men held jobs as farmers and teachers before becoming President). Just as the presidents left different legacies and made varying contributions, they also had different hobbies and lifestyles. James Monroe spent buckets of money on lavish décor for the White House, while William Harrison began each day with a walk to market and a basket on his arm.
The new edition of this 2000 Caldecott Medal winner is a must-read for its noteworthy facts and amusing caricatures. Woven in are some important economics lessons about jobs, human resources, and the economic role of government. So You Want to Be President? adds a realistic perspective to the achievements of previous presidents by drawing attention to their backgrounds, shortcomings, and antics.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children