Teen Reads: Books on Presidents

Our country’s presidents : a complete encyclopedia of the U.S. presidency / written by Ann Bausum

Ladies and Gentlemen: the next President of the United States will soon be included within the pages of one of our perennial favorites. National Geographic Children’s Books will publish this fully revised and updated edition of Our Country’s Presidents in time for the Inauguration of our 44th head of state—the first Presidents reference book on the market after the election.

This president will follow in the footsteps of the presidents who have assumed America’s greatest responsibility: these men have faithfully executed their duties—they have signed treaties, addressed Congress, brokered peace, and waged war. Each has left his own indelible mark on the history of the United States and on the lives of the American people.


Yes we can : a biography of Barack Obama 
/ Garen Thomas

In third grade, Barack Obama wrote an essay titled, “I Want to Become President”—and he is, to this day, determined to show the world that, yes, he can.

Born in the U.S.A., the son of an African father and an American mother, a boy who spent his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii, Barack Obama is truly a citizen of the world. His campaign for the presidency is powered by a fierce optimism, an exuberant sense of purpose and determination, and, above all, a belief that change can happen.

Garen Thomas takes us through the life of Barack Obama, from his struggle to fit in with his classmates and concern about not knowing his biological father, through his term as Illinois senator, to his historic and momentum-building run for president of the United States.

Barack Obama is a man who uses his words to inspire us. We can have a better future. We can be whatever we want to be. Yes. We.


Hillary Rodham Clinton : a woman living history 
/ by Karen Blumenthal

Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. . . . And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.” -Hillary Rodham Clinton

As a young girl growing up in the fifties, Hillary Diane Rodham had an unusual upbringing for the time-her parents told her, “You can do or be whatever you choose, as long as you’re willing to work for it.” Hillary took those words and ran. Whether it was campaigning at the age of thirteen in the 1964 presidential election, receiving a standing ovation and being featured in LIFE magazine as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley, or graduating from Yale Law School-she was always one to stand out from the pack.

And that was only the beginning. Today, we have seen Hillary in many roles. From First Lady of the United States to the first female Senator of New York and most recently as the United States Secretary of State. An activist all her life, she has been devoted to health care reform, child care, and women’s rights, among others. And she’s still not done.

Eleanor Roosevelt : fighter for justice : her impact on the civil rights movement, the White House, and the world / Ilene Cooper

Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice shows young readers how the former First Lady evolved from a poor little rich girl to a protector and advocate for those without a voice. Though now seen as a cultural icon, she was a woman deeply insecure about her looks and her role in the world. But by recognizing her fears and constantly striving to overcome her prejudices, she used her proximity to presidents and her own power to aid in the fight for Civil Rights and other important causes. This biography gives readers a fresh perspective on her extraordinary life. It includes a timeline, biography, index, and many historic photographs.

Abraham Lincoln:TheMaking of America / Teri Kanefield

The third installment of the Making of America series, Abraham Lincoln, tells of one of our most beloved presidents. Born in a cabin deep in the backwoods of Kentucky, growing up in a family considered “the poorest of the poor,” Lincoln rose to become the sixteenth president of the United States. As president, he guided the United States through the Civil War, helped end slavery in America, and strengthened the federal government. Unlike other biographies, the Making of America series goes beyond individual narratives linking influential figures to create an overarching story of America’s growth. The first three books in the series, read together, tell the story of American constitutional history from the founding of the nation through the end of the Civil War. The stories can also be read on their own and are the perfect way to get young readers excited about American history.


Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency 
/ Heather E. Schwartz

Theodore Roosevelt was thrust into the presidency after William McKinley’s assassination in 1901. He led the country into the Progressive Era, which meant stronger government controls over businesses and better protection of workers’ rights, women, African Americans, and consumers. Roosevelt worked to spread US influence around the world, and he was instrumental in the construction of the Panama Canal. While he had a mixed stance on civil rights issues, Roosevelt made bold stands for several African Americans. He also advocated for the conservation of national parks and monuments throughout the country. In his two terms as president, Roosevelt’s domestic reforms and foreign policies left a lasting legacy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency / Linda Crotta Brennan

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1932, the United States was in crisis. The Great Depression had left many people unemployed, homeless, and desperate. Roosevelt established a New Deal, which set the country on a path to recovery. Roosevelt’s administration also faced severe threats from overseas, eventually drawing the United States into World War II. In his historically long presidency, Roosevelt lead the country through an international conflict, help bring an end to the Great Depression, and launch a new era of prosperity for the United States–all while confined to a wheelchair. Follow the setbacks and achievements of FDR’s presidency as he worked to rebuild the nation from within and defend it abroad

John F. Kennedy’s Presidency / Rebecca Rowell

When John F. Kennedy became the youngest person ever elected president of the United States in 1961, he stepped to the forefront of an invisible battleground. The Cold War standoff between America and the Soviet Union threatened to lead to nuclear war and worldwide destruction. Kennedy also faced domestic turmoil with the civil rights movement. Despite these challenges, Kennedy worked to bring the country into a “New Frontier.” He supported space exploration, the arts, education, and groundbreaking social programs. He took a controversial stand in favor of civil rights legislation, and navigated dangerous webs of foreign affairs. Kennedy inspired the nation with his hopes for the future and his efforts to make them a reality.

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