Rock the Vote: Election Day

Every four years, that first Tuesday following the first Monday in November ceases to be just another weekday and becomes Election Day. Voting is an important right for American citizens, and many parents, caregivers, and teachers begin educating their under-eighteens about “rocking the vote” years before they are ready to enter a polling booth. Books — both fiction and non-fiction — are a great way to get kids thinking about the government, elections, and how the lives of citizens are affected by political decisions.

To find books about Election Day combine a “juvenile literature” subject search with a keyword search of “Election Day,” “Election,” “vote,” or “voting.”

To find books about the presidents, combine a “juvenile literature” subject search with a keyword search of “president*” or the name of a particular POTUS; you can also try “white house” or “oval office” for more historical information.

To find fiction about these topics, combine a “juvenile fiction” subject search with a keyword search of “election,” “president,” “voting,” or other Election-Day-themed term.

Books about Election Day and Voting

Freedman, Russell.
Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed America. 2014.
When we talk about exercising the right to vote, it is important to remember that for many years, that right was given only to white, land-owning men. This non-fiction book, complete with historic pictures, tells the story of the 1960s battle for voting rights for the African-American community.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB Q. S. 323.1196073 F875b]

Granfield, Linda.
America Votes: How Our President is Elected. 2003.
Even young children can learn about how the President is voted into office, preparing for the day they will be able to cast their own vote.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 324.6 G765a]

Grodin, Elissa.
D is for Democracy: A Citizen’s Alphabet. 2004.
Take an A to Z adventure throughout the American government and its important terms and concepts.
[SSHEL S Collection S.320.973 G892d]

Lishak, Anthony.
Elections and Voting. 2008.
What do some of the major voting issues — like climate change and equal rights — have to do with you? This book includes lists of websites for each issue it covers to provide further information.
[SSHEL S Collection S.324.6 L6873]

Stier, Catherine.
Today on Election Day. 2012.
A group of school kids teach the reader about Election Day when their gym becomes a polling place.
[SSHEL S Collection S.324.60973 St524t]

Wagner, Heather Lehr.
The History of the Republican Party. 2007.
The History of the Democratic Party. 2007.
This pair of informational books breaks down the two primary political parties into easily understood concepts.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 324.273 W125h and S. 324.273609 W125h]

Worth, Bonnie.
One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote. 2016.
In this play on Dr. Seuss, the Cat in the Hat introduces readers to the American presidency, voting, and Election Day.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 324.650973 W899o]

Books about the Presidents

Cook, Jane Hampton.
What Does the President Look Like? 2011.
If the President showed up at your doorstep, you’d probably immediately know who it was. But wait! How did people across the country know what the President looked like before digital cameras and news stations? Cook discusses how the image of the President has changed and how American citizens came to know what the President looked like even before they’d seen him on CNN.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.973.099 C77w]

Gilpin, Caroline Crosson.
Barack Obama. 2008.
Learn about the amazing life of Barack Obama leading up to his election as first African-American President!
[SSHEL S Collection SB. O121g]

Hudson, David L.
The Handy Presidents Answer Book. 2012.
Show off to all your friends with your new in-depth knowledge about the trivia behind each of the Presidents, from Washington to Obama.
[SSHEL S Collection S.973.099 H867h]

Katz, Susan.
The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents. 2012.
Some pretty silly things have happened to presidents over the years, and Katz parodies and celebrates these events with rhyming aplomb.
[SSHEL S Collection Q.S. 811 K199p]

Norwich, Grace.
I am George Washington. 2012.
Learn about our very first president, who defined the office and now graces the one-dollar bill.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. W31n]

Rhatigan, Joe.
White House Kids: The Perks, Pleasures, Problems, and Pratfalls of the Presidents’ Children. 2012.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t ready to be President. But what if your parent became Head of State? What is it like to grow up in the White House? Rhatigan explores the lives of the First kids throughout history, complete with anecdotes.
[SSHEL S Collection S.973.099 R341w]

Stabler, David.
Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents. 2014.
How does one grow up to be President? Stabler presents some of the past presidents childhood shenanigans.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 973.099 St118k]

St. George, Judith.
So You Want to be President? 2004.
What does it really take to be president? This book explores the quirks and backgrounds of America’s first 42 presidents with humor and cartoonish illustrations.
[SSHEL S Collection Q.S.973.099 St23s 2004]

Stier, Catherine.
If I Were President. 1999.
A diverse class of school kids imagines what being president might be like, from the daily schedule to the built-in bowling alley.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 352.230973 St521i]

Fiction about Elections

Bruel, Nick.
Bad Kitty for President. 2012.
Bad Kitty is running for president of the Neighborhood Cat Association, but the voters are split down the middle — the right side of the street votes for one candidate and the left side votes for the other. Will a last-minute absentee ballot tip the balance?
[SSHEL S Collection S.B832bap]

Czajak, Paul.
Monster Needs Your Vote. 2015.
Election season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster’s newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. C994m]

DiPucchio, Kelly.
Grace for President. 2008.
When Grace discovers that there has never been a female president, she decides to be the first. Grace for President!
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB Q.SE. D626g]

Gutman, Dan.
The Kid Who Ran for President. 1996.
Twelve-year-old Judson Moon sets out to become the first kid president with the help of his best friend and his babysitter.
[SSHEL S Collection S. G985k]

Paulsen, Gary.
Vote: The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Politics. 2013.
Kevin, a 14-year-old hoping to impress his girlfriend, spontaneously decides to run for office at school before getting excited about the chance to make a difference.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P285vo]

Smith, Lane.
Madam President. 2008.
A little girl imagines what her day would look like if she were the president.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB SE. Sm618m]

Winston, Sherri.
President of the Whole Sixth Grade. 2015.
Breanna is president of her middle-school class, but sometimes that feels more like a headache than an honor. Between backstabbing classmates and an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., Breanna may have bitten off more than she can chew.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W733pr]

National Women’s History Month

March is National Women’s History Month, and the National Womens History Project (NWHP) has made this year’s theme writing women back into history. The NWHP challenges you to recognize the importance of women in history by testing your knowledge of women’s history. The History Channel also has information on Women’s History Month, including photo galleries, speeches, and videos on topics including “Women Factory Workers of World War II” and “Maya Angelou on the Women’s Movement.” In addition, for a great picture book to accompany a lesson plan on National Women’s History Month, try My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry (2008). Isabella spends the day imagining herself as different women in history and at the end of the day feels proud to be herself. This book is located in the Education S Collection, call number Q.SE. F781m. For additional resources see the bibliography below, separated into books about women in history and women today.

Women in History

Anderson, Laurie Halse.
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution. 2008.
With page after page of researched information and detailed illustrations, author Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator Matt Faulkner prove the case for the part of women during the American Revolution in this entertaining, informative, and long overdue homage to those independent dames!
[Education S Collection S.973.3082 An2394i]

Cummins, Julie.
Women Daredevils: Thrills, Chills and Frills. 2008.
The stories of fourteen women during the period from 1880 to 1929 who performed feats of daring from being shot out of a cannon to high-diving on horseback.
[Education S Collection S.791.0922 C9129w]

Hughes, Susan.
No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure. 2008.
Based on legends, poems, letters and first-hand accounts, these seven biographical tales tell of women who disguised themselves as men. From ancient Egypt to the 19th century, this historically accurate graphic treatment transports readers to bygone eras. For the sake of freedom, ambition, love or adventure, these women risked everything.
[Education S Collection S.306.77 H8747n]

Klier, Kimberly.
You Can’t Do That, Amelia! 2008.
This whimsically illustrated picture book captures the spirit of a young Amelia Earhart as she follows the dreams that will one day earn her a place in American history as one of the world’s first female pilots and one of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed adventurers. Well researched and supplemented with biographical information, research notes, and additional sources for the curious.
[Education S Collection SB. E121k]

Krull, Kathleen.
A Woman for President: the Story of Victoria Woodhull. 2004.
Do you know the first woman to run for president? The first woman to have a seat on the Stock Exchange? The first woman to own a newspaper? To speak before Congress? They were all Victoria Woodhull; this picture book tells her story.
[Education Storage Q. SB. W891k]

Nelson, Marilyn.
Sweethearts of Rhythm: the Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. 2009.
A look at a 1940’s all-female jazz band, that originated from a boarding school in Mississippi and found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war.
[Education S Collection S.811 N335s]

Stone, Tanya Lee.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women who Dared to Dream. 2009.
Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules.
[Education S Collection S.629.450092 St724a]

Tafolla, Carmen.
Thats Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice = No es Justo! la Lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justicia. 2008.
Bilingual biography of Emma Tenayuca, who, in 1938, led 12,000 poor Mexican-American workers in a strike for better wages and living conditions.
[Education S Collection Q. S.331.88092 T125t:E]

Wheeler, Jill C.
Gertrude Chandler Warner. 2005.
This picture book looks at the life of the author of the popular children’s series “The Boxcar Children.”
[Education S Collection SB. W281w]

Woelfle, Gretchen.
Jeannette Rankin: a Political Pioneer. 2007.
The author has collected photographs, newspaper clippings, campaign materials, and other historical documents to tell the story of the first congresswoman in American history.
[Education S Collection SB. R2113w]

Women Today

Banting, Erinn.
Condoleezza Rice. 2008.
This biography looks at Condoleezza Rice. She was the first African American Secretary of State and the second woman to serve in this position. She was also George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor and returned in 2009 to teaching at Stanford University as a professor in political science.
[Education S Collection SB. R495b]

Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta.
Jane Goodall: A Twentieth-Century Life. 2008.
Biography of Jane Goodall who at age twenty-six started a six-month project at the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve on Lake Tanganyika, Africa which became her life’s work.
[Education S Collection SB. G646b]

Cooper, Ilene.
Oprah Winfrey: A Twentieth-Century Life. 2007.
Oprah Winfrey has been called the Queen of All Media for good reason–during her more than thirty-year career, she has left an indelible mark on radio, television, film, theater, magazines, and books. Oprah is also a committed humanitarian.
[Education Storage SB. W768c]

Fournel, Kelly.
Great Women from Our First Nations. 2007.
This book looks at women role models from Canada’s “First Nations” — the Native people of Canada.
[Education S Collection S.305.48 F8271g]

Gelfand, Dale Ewa.
Coretta Scott King: Civil Rights Activist. 2007.
Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and is also an author with a medal named after her for outstanding African American writers in the field of children’s literature. She died in 2006.
[Education S Collection SB. K521g]

Hinman, Bonnie.
Xtreme Athletes: Danica Patrick. 2009.
This book profiles Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an Indy car race. In 2009 she placed third in the Indianapolis 500, the highest finishing place by a woman in the event’s history.
[Education S Collection SB. P314h]

Lashnits, Tom.
Maya Lin. 2007.
Maya Lin is known for her sculpture and landscape art. When she was 21 she won a public competition to become designer for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
[Education S Collection SB. L735la]

Napoli, Donna Jo.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. 2010.
This story is based on the life of Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner who was head of the National Council of Women in Kenya. She started the Green Belt Movement which encourages women to plant trees to improve their environment and quality of life.
[Education S Collection Q. SB. M112n]

Stinson, Kathy.
Love Every Leaf: the Life of Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. 2008.
This 96-page biography tells Oberlander’s remarkable life’s story, complete with photographs and plans for the imaginative playgrounds and the innovative museum and embassy grounds she has created around the world, and for green rooftops, her latest passion. Young readers will not only learn about the profession, but also will find inspiration in her love for the natural world and the respect and concern she shows for our environment.

[Education S Collection SB. O124s]


As the presidential campaign season enters its last few weeks, the political process is constantly in the news. The following books can interest everyone from budding politicos to anyone who has ever wondered “what does it take to be the President?”

Picture Books

Christelow, Eileen
Vote! 2003.
Using a campaign for mayor as an example, shows the steps involved in an election, from the candidate’s speeches and rallies, to the voting booth where every vote counts, to the announcement of the winner.
[Center for Children’s Books: S.324.973 C461v]

Cronin, Doreen
Duck For President. 2004.
When Duck gets tired of working for Farmer Brown, his political ambition eventually leads to his being elected President.
[Education S Collection: SE. C881d]

DiPucchio, Kelly
Grace For President. 2008.
When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. D626g]

Smith, Lane.
Madam President. 2008.
A little girl imagines what her day would be like if she were President of the United States.
[Education S Collection: SE. Sm618m]

Stier, Catherine.
If I Ran For President. 2007.
Discusses the presidential election process.
[Education S Collection: S.324.70973 St524i]

St. George, Judith.
So You Want To Be President? 2004 (Revised and Updated Edition)
This new version of the Caldecott-winning classic by illustrator David Small and author Judith St. George is updated with current facts and new illustrations to include our forty-second president, George W. Bush. Hilariously illustrated by Small, this celebration by St. George shows us the foibles, quirks and humanity of forty-two men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world.
[Education S Collection: Q. S.973.099 St23s2004]

Middle Grades

Gephart, Donna
As if Being 12 3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President! 2008.
Preparing for spelling bees, having a secret admirer, and waiting for her chest size to catch up with her enormous feet are pressure enough, but twelve-year-old Vanessa must also deal with loneliness and very real fears as her mother, Florida’s Governor, runs for President of the United States.
[Education S Collection: S. G299a]

Gorman, Carol
Dork For President. 2002.
Having reluctantly agreed to run for sixth-grade president, Jerry, who has been trying to change his image as a dork, finds his opponent playing dirty tricks on him.
[Education Storage: S.G68d]

Howe, James
The Misfits. 2001.
Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.
[Education S Collection: S.H8382mi]

Morris-Lipsman, Arlene
Presidential Races: the Battle for Power in the United States. 2008.
Describes how election campaigns for the office of President of the United States have changed from the time of George Washington to the Bush vs. Kerry campaign of 2004.
[Education S Collection: S.324.973 M831p]

Thimmesh, Catherine
Madam President. 2004
A collective biography of women involved in politics in the United States and abroad. A story about a girl who is ridiculed for wanting to be president frames the introduction to the many women who have cleared the path that will eventually lead to a female president.
[Education S Collection: Q. S.320 T348m]

Young Adult

Bauer, Joan
Hope Was Here. 2000.
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.
[Education Storage: Education Storage: S.B326h]

Cabot, Meg
All-American Girl. 2002.
A sophomore girl stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen Ambassador to the United Nations, and catches the eye of the very cute First Son.
[Education S Collection: S.C1125a]

McKissack, Pat
To Establish Justice: Citizenship and the Constitution. 2004.
America was founded on the idea of liberty for all. But it has not always achieved that ideal. To Establish Justice is an honest and powerful examination of the Supreme Court’s role in legalizing-or negating-civil rights for various groups. From the struggles of Native Americans at the country’s birth to the African American civil rights movement of the 1960s, from the vote for women to the internment of the Japanese during World War II, To Establish Justice shows how the Supreme Court has paved the way for both justice and discrimination, and how this important arm of our government has impacted all of our lives.
[Education S Collection: S.342.7308 M459t]

Perkins, Matali
First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover. 2007.
During her father’s presidential campaign, sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton, who was adopted from Pakistan at the age of three, struggles with campaign staffers who want to give her a more “all-American” image and create a fake weblog in her name.
[Education S Collection: S. P419f]

Schmidt, Gary.
First Boy. 2005.
Dragged into the political turmoil of a presidential election year, fourteen-year-old Cooper Jewett, who runs a New Hampshire dairy farm since his grandfather’s death, stands up for himself and makes it clear whose first boy he really is.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. Sch53f]

Lynch, Chris
Political Timber. 1996.
High school senior Gordon Foley runs for mayor at the behest of his grandfather, an old-style politician scheming to regain power while he’s in prison for fraud.
[Education Storage: S. L991P]