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Campaigns and Elections

Duck for President. Doreen Cronin. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. Grades K-3.

When Duck tires of his barnyard chores, he decides to run for office to replace Farmer Brown. Duck, a natural campaigner who revels in kissing babies and riding in parades, soon seeks higher office and is eventually elected governor and U.S. president. The book provides a very basic introduction to the election process that both kids and adults will enjoy. The illustrations are hilarious.

The Electoral College. Michael Burgan. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2007. Grades 4-6.

Explores the history of the electoral college, why it was created, and how it works. Describes the instances when a presidential election was decided by the U.S. House and when presidents who received the popular vote did not win the election. Also discusses whether the electoral college system is still effective and efforts to change or abolish it.

Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts, 2nd ed. Syl Sobel. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1999. Grades 3-5.

Explains the rules for running for president (age and citizenship requirements, etc.) and the rules for electing the president, including the electoral college. Describes the steps in a presidential campaign, from primaries to conventions to election day. Explains the role of the vice president and presidential succession. There are sidebars throughout the book that address topics such as the role of the first lady, third-party candidates, and the oldest and youngest presidents. Contains a glossary, bibliography, and index.

Right to Vote. Deanne Durrett. New York: Facts on File, 2005. Young adults.

A fairly in-depth treatment of the history of voting rights in the United States. Also covers concepts such as political parties, campaign finance, the media, voter registration, how people vote and how ballots are counted, and voter apathy. Includes a glossary, chronology, bibliography, index, and excerpts from voting-related documents.

The Voice of the People: American Democracy in Action. Betsy Maestro. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1996. Grades K-6.

A wide-ranging book that explains the electoral process and how the three branches of government work. Discusses how the Constitution was drafted and forms the backbone of our government. Also explains that our electoral process has developed in part from the Constitution and in part from customs and traditions. Contains various lists: presidents, order of presidential succession, the oath of office, and more.

Vote! Eileen Christelow. New York: Clarion Books, 2003. Grades K-4.

Using a campaign for mayor as an example, this engaging book covers every step in the process, from the start of the campaign all the way to the voting booth--and even a recount. The cast of characters includes two dogs, whose questions and comments mirror those of young readers and help to explain some of an election's more confusing aspects. Includes a glossary, a timeline of voting rights, a discussion of political parties, a list of Web resources, and terrific cartoon-like drawings.

Voting in Elections. Terri DeGezelle. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2005. Grades 1-3.

A very basic introduction to voting in the United States: who can vote, how citizens choose who to vote for, where and how people vote, and how ballots are counted. There is information on the electoral college and on the history of voting rights. Contains a glossary, bibliography, and index.

Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections. Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes. Alexandria, VA: VSP Books, 1999. Grades K-4.

Shows what is involved in running for elective office as Woodrow Washingtail is elected to local, state, and federal office. Stresses the importance of civic and community involvement, including volunteering, voting, and political participation.

The Children's Books and Web Sites bibliography lists more kid-friendly literature about the U.S. government.