A noteworthy review of Our Presidents from Children's Literature on January 1, 2002
This entry in the well-written ‘Our Presidents’ series provides an overview of Millard Fillmore’s life, early years in New York and his struggle to rise above poor circumstances and gain an education, and his rise in law and politics. The text also covers his struggles to preserve the union over the questions now raised about slavery. Photographs include several of Fillmore but most others are of artwork taken from paintings, cartoons, illustrations and other depictions of the era. Outtake pages include one about the Antimasons who were against the Masonic secret societies, the Mexican War, and the Buffalo Historical Society. Sidebars include interesting facts and the picture captions are informative and lengthy enough to inform casual browsers. Each book in the series ends with a glossary defining highlighted words in the text, a timeline specific to the president’s life, a complete table of presidents through George W. Bush with their home states, life spans, presidential spans, political party and the name of their first ladies. Included are a page of ‘Presidential Facts’ and numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, as well as an index. All in all, it’s a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents for upper elementary and middle-school readers.
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