105 Ways to Give a Book

Nonfiction Monday: Yes We Can

First, for Nonfiction Monday let me give a shout-out to the winner of the Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book winner, The Day-Glo Brothers, by Chris Barton, which I reviewed here. Check out all of the Cybils Award winners and buy yourself a book to support the site. I bought three myself.

Now today, I was wishing that I had a specific biography that would cover Presidents Day and Black History Month. In other words, an Obama biography. I didn’t have a new book on hand, and frankly am not much in the mood to write up a whole new post when today’s chores are looming over me like the five-foot snow piles towering over my driveway. The answer came to me in a book that I reviewed more than a year ago, but that has since been updated to reflect the new developments in Barack Obama’s life. You know, like becoming president.

Yes We Can: A Biography of President Barack ObamaYes We Can: A Biography of President Barack Obama, by Garen Thomas, serves as a great biography for kids or a quick overview of the man’s life for adults. Written for older elementary school kids, the book covers Obama’s life story with an interesting narrative. The first two-thirds of the book seem drawn very strongly from his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. The last third fills in the rest of the story, namely his law school and political years. The book includes lots of photos, and chapters are separated by quotes from Obama — including a section of his New Hampshire primary speech, “Yes We Can.” The original book went to press before the Democratic primaries ended, but the newer version is updated with the conclusion of the campaign and of course, the ultimate results of the presidential election. Certainly it doesn’t have the personal depth and elegant writing of Dreams from My Father or the policy implications of The Audacity of Hope, but for kids or adults who want to know who Obama is and where he came from, this title is a great place to start.

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at The Art of Irreverence.

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