Author: Dan Gutman
Pub. Date: August, 2012
Summary: How does the president get his job? How do people know who will win an election before everybody’s voted? Do the candidates hate each other?
Dan Gutman takes on his strangest subject ever: the American political system. Reaching through history from the days of the founding fathers to today’s voting system, Gutman tackles complex subjects in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Even grown-ups will find something in here that they’ve never learned before. Politics are a crazy game, and with Dan Gutman teaching you the rules, you’re going to have a blast learning how to play.
Genre: MG, Non-fiction
With the upcoming election, I thought Election! would be a good book to check out. Even though it’s a children’s book, the facts and explanations were presented in a way that adults could enjoy it – and learn – as well. The writing never felt dumbed-down over over-simplified.
My major area of study was the Civil War and while I have a fairly decent grasp on other aspects of American history, politics is an area that has never really interested me. I love history and discovering what really goes into the way American government was formed (and continues to run) caught my eye.
The chapters in Election! are broken up into various aspects of the election process: choosing a candidate, voting, Election Day, etc. Instead of a constant narrative, the book is comprised of questions and answers and I really enjoyed the direct, no-fuss approach.
Because this is a book geared towards kids, some of the questions seem a little obvious and silly, but overall I thought this was a great book and I’ll admit I definitely learned a thing or two (an 1882 election came down to ONE vote!). Whether a child is curious about how the presidency works or an adult is interested in brushing up on forgotten knowledge, Election! is a fun and informative book that can easily be read in a single setting.