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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: It is 2000, Judson Moon (13) has just been elected President. How did this happen? Because Judson's best friend Lane, who loves a challenge, found a loophole that allowed Judson to participate in the elctroal process. Lane is now the President's Chief of Staff and closest advisor. Judson calls Chelsea Daniels his “First Babe,” a gorgeous girl with the I.Q of a rock. He names his old babysitter, Ms. June Syers as his Vice President, because she is the most intelligent woman he knows.
Moon begins by attempting to abolish homework, one of his main campaign promises. Although Lane disagrees with that idea, he helps Judson with other duties, such as attending formal banquets and entertaining foreign ministers and guests. Before long, President Moon's 92% approval rating plummets, as he is getting bashed for simple mistakes and accidents. The economy is in the gutter and unemployment is on the rise. Judson is also faced with a pending war. Unsure of what he should do, he gets help from the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, who tells him to “use his strength.” President Moon realizes that legitimately, the President is not the all-powerful being we consider him to be, he is almost the country’s cheerleader. Is he that cheerleader? And can he lead his country away from war in time? This is a light-hearted but realistic look at responsibility, growing up, and acceptance.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 and up; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: This book is one of my personal favorites. I get wrapped up in every page. As an immigrant from India, I love reading a book with a character like me. I have always dreamed of becoming President, and this book always leaves my mind in ecstasy and wonder of a vivid imagination. Moon is just an average teenager and not even that smart, yet he still manages to save the day. Believe it or not even though this seems a children’s book adults can learn a lot from it, too. This book shows how much we take our president for granted, criticizing the man without having even a single clue of his true powers or the true efforts he can put in towards his work. I recommend this book for anyone, no matter what the age, race, or gender because no matter how you see it, you will realize this book applies to everyone’s lives.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: This is a middle grade novel with lessons and ideas for readers of all ages. You don't have to understand government to appreciate the story.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Our teen reader loves re-reading this one.