Recently we were late to my daughter’s bi-weekly Show Me Readers Club meeting, so we checked out that week’s book to read together. The book, Grace for President, was such a great book that we ended up reading it a couple of times.
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, it is the story of a girl named Grace who is perturbed by the lack of female presidents in our history. When she asks her teacher why there are no girls on the wall of presidents on the school poster, her teacher’s answer makes her angry. She sits at her desk and stews, “No girls? Who’d ever heard of such a crazy thing?”
She then announces that she will run for president herself. While the kids in her class laugh at her, her teacher says it’s a fantastic idea and announces that they will have their own school election. Grace is excited to run for office until she finds out that another class will also be participating—and that their candidate, Thomas, is an all-star athlete, spelling bee champ, and science far winner. In short, she’s sure she will not win against Thomas.
Both children embark on campaigns. They make campaign signs; while Thomas’s claim he is the “Best MAN for the job,” Grace’s say things like “Make History, Vote Grace for President!”
Thomas makes harder promises to keep than Grace, and when he calculates that there are more boys in school than girls, he figures he will win no matter what. Grace, on the other hand, continues to work hard toward her goal. She gives out cupcakes, holds rallies, gives speeches, and continues to campaign toward her goal. She even does something we all wish politicians would do—she fulfills her campaign promises before the election!
It turns out that the election comes down to one child—a boy—who surprises everyone and votes for Grace. When she asks him why, he simply says, “I thought you were the best person in the job.”
The book contains many different colors of people; Grace herself is black, while all of her classmates feature different colors, sizes, and even styles of hair and clothing. The illustrations are also beautiful, with an old-time campaign quality; but one of the best parts of the book is that it teaches about the electoral college, different states and what their number of votes and characteristics are, and of course, the election process itself. It’s a wonderful modern history book that would be useful in any children’s classroom.