Just in time for Presidents' Day!

IMG_8296I was wondering over on Facebook last week about what a series biography of our 45th president might look like, and my prayers have been answered. AS IF. But there is a new biography of Trump and I thought you all would want to know about it. Written by Diane Marczely Gimpel and published by The Child's World, Donald Trump will be reviewed in the Fall 2017 Horn Book Guide; consider this advance warning.

Let's face it, there is nothing in this 24pp book that makes it worth its price tag of 27 bucks and change, but that's par for the course ("He also owns golf courses. He is very rich") when it comes to this genre. While there is an oddly specific--and dear God we hope not prescient--paragraph about his childhood pranking ("They bought stink bombs at the shop. They also bought smoke bombs. They even bought hot pepper gum"), even more oddly there is not a single mention of his being married or having children. FREE MELANIA. My spot check of other recent volumes in this series reveals that this omission is definitely unusual.

The coverage of the election is fair and as informative as you get in such series aimed at the primary grades ("Clinton and Trump were the two main choices. It was a close race") and does not go into the intricacies of the Electoral College or the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by almost three million ballots. (That's for you, @realDonaldTrump, in case you're reading.) The point of view is scrupulously neutral: "Some people did not like what Trump said. They stopped working with him. Others thought Trump did not tell the truth. They also thought he said mean things. Yet many other people liked him." Like him or not, this book probably has a place in those libraries where second-graders have to write reports about a President but aren't allowed to use online sources. (I'm told such schools exist, and this book is evidence they do, but honestly, WHY?)

You know how you read a book in a series and can't wait for the next one? That's how I feel today.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.
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Lynn Van Auken

I STILL find myself, at times like this, hoping I am going to wake up and discover this has all been a really bad, really long dream. But alas, I am wide awake and must honestly consider purchasing a biography about our new president for our school library. I think I'll wait for the one that tells about how he was impeached . . .

Posted : Jan 30, 2017 11:33

Eric Carpenter

Also we still circulate the Sasha and Malia Obama bios quite a bit in my school library. I wonder if any of the educational presses are working on one for Trump's youngest, though I doubt it would circulate.

Posted : Jan 30, 2017 07:58

Eric Carpenter

I'm holding out hope for the elementary Trump bio that includes a line such as "despite being caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting a woman, Trump with the assistance of the Russian government and the now disgraced head of the FBI, was narrowly elected president of the United States despite losing the popular vote."

Posted : Jan 30, 2017 07:56

Katie Bircher

I've been hearing rumblings of mass protests on Presidents' Day...

Posted : Jan 30, 2017 04:22

Elizabeth Law

Ha! Particularly given that Mr Trump has one kid young enough to interest readers of that age, I am very surprised at the omission of the wife and 5 children. And while I am not an elementary school teacher, I *believe* the reason reports are sometimes assigned without allowing children to consult online research is to make sure they learn how to use books and not just the internet, and that books are considered a more reliable source--i.e, at least they've been vetted somewhere.

Posted : Jan 30, 2017 04:05


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