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THE US CONGRESS FOR KIDS, Over 200 Years of Lawmaking, Deal-breaking and Compromise

Author: Ronald A. Reis

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Chicago Review Press, 2014

Material: paperback

Summary: This book will be very helpful in teaching young people about the structure, history, and role of the U.S. Congress. There are lots of excellent illustrations, interesting stories and the activities (21 in all) that engage youngsters and further their understanding. Use this picture book with upper elementary and middle grade students to expand on U.S. history lessons.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; read yourself: 11 and Up

Interest Level: 10 and Up

Age of Child: Shared with a Sixth Grade Class.

Young Reader Reaction: My friend used this as a resource in teaching her class about the function of Congress and why there is so much disdain for the Members of Congress today. The class found parts of the book and some of the activities interesting.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the balance of past and present material. Current Members of Congress are mentioned, so the book may be updated in the future to reflect the current composition of the Legislative Branch.

Pros: The US Congress for kids is well illustrated and has good content. Many (but not all) of the activities are enjoyable and make sense.

Cons: None, really. Some activities will appeal to kids more than others.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Excellent resource for educators and definitely for families home schooling their children. This is a book that is an excellent complement to governmental studies and can help with homework.

If You Liked This Book, Try: OUR WHITE HOUSE: LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT   TRICKING THE TALLYMAN   CHARTING THE WORLD: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities

Educational Themes: There are several layers to this nonfiction book. First, it offers procedural and structural information about Congress, but it also describes how the "human factor" plays into the way Congress works.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - Picture Book, Civics, US History

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at and reviews and reader feedback at


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