Title: Barack Obama
Author: Stephen Krensky
Publisher: DK Publishing
Concepts: human resources, racial equality, social justice, jobs, occupations, economics of government
Review: As the nation's 44th president and the first African-American president, Barack Obama's life story has become familiar to people all over the world. Born to a white mother and a black father at a time when some states even banned biracial marriages, Barack and his parents enjoyed the relative freedom that life in Hawaii brought them. Although his father returned to Kenya when Barack was still very young, Barack would apply lessons from his African heritage as he learned to navigate his own life's path. That path included a stellar record in college and law school, invaluable work as a community organizer, a rewarding family life as husband and father, and his rapid climb up the political ranks.
This well-documented book constitutes an informative resource for young readers who are curious about the defining moments of Barack Obama's childhood, schooling, and early career. Thoroughly intertwined in the narrative are accounts of how economic factors such as poverty, racial inequality in the labor market, institutionalized discrimination, and economic recession shaped Obama's thoughts about social policy and economic reforms. In a market with no shortage of biographies about the country's current president, this particular book stands apart for its expansive collection of photographs and sidebar reflections. These visual elements work nicely to reinforce the content and make clear to middle-grade readers the origins of Barack Obama's ardent work toward social justice.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children