Our review of Home School in the Woods U.S. Elections lapbooking kit sent us on quite a learning adventure about the whole concept of elections. Last week, I shared some of the picture books about elections we enjoyed reading to enhance our learning, and this week, I wanted to share some fun chapter books about elections that my older girls have read and enjoyed, either in the past or as a part of our elections unit. To be honest, most of the fiction selections didn’t add all that much to our learning, but the girls enjoyed reading them and each one seemed to contribute at least a little bit of info about the election process. I think they also kept the topic of elections relatable as something that kids can be and are involved in.
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Fiction Chapter Books about Elections
- I Don’t Want to Be a Leader: or Do I? by Patricia Ann Marcellino – This book is about a girl who is asked to run for class president and doesn’t want to. She decides to ask her family members for advice on whether or not she should run. Even though this one doesn’t go into much detail on the election process, it does explain a little about suffrage which we found helpful.
Capital Mysteries #10: The Election Day Disaster by Ron Roy – My oldest daughter loves pretty much anything written by Ron Roy. She has read his books over and over again for the last five years, and even though they are far below her level now, she still enjoys re-reading them every now and then for fun. The Capital Mysteries series highlights the famous museums, buildings, or monuments from the Washington area. This particular book focuses on how mudslinging and lies affect elections and how every vote is very important in an election.
- The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman – This was probably the best book we read as far as enhancing our learning about elections, especially since we were learning about U.S. presidential elections. This one really helped my kids understand the electoral college and what the Constitution has to say about minimum ages for elected leaders. My oldest daughter said at the end that she wished this was something that would happen in real life because she thinks it would be an interesting change that would be worth a try. I just might be inclined to agree!
- The Kid Who Became President by Dan Gutman – We actually weren’t able to find this one, but because we enjoyed the first one so much and we’d really like to read this one, I decided to go ahead and include it in this list.
- Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger – We read this and enjoyed it, but the girls said it didn’t really help them to learn about elections because it was just too far-fetched and ridiculous and the character broke all the rules of elections. I think if you have a reluctant reader or someone who learns well from what-not-to-dos, this might be a good fit for you.
- The Baby-Sitters Club #53: Kristy for President by Ann M. Martin – This is another one that was fun to read but didn’t add much to our learning. It did teach us a little about making political speeches, and my second daughter will take any excuse she can find to read more Baby-Sitters Club books.
- Promises, Promises (Beacon Street Girls Book 5) by Annie Bryant – My oldest daughter really enjoys this series. She was excited to re-read this book as part of our unit. When I asked her what she learned about elections from her re-read, she said that it shows how it might be difficult to maintain a friendship with someone you were running against but that it is possible. Probably a good lesson for us all during this election season where there is so much division, at least among my facebook friends! 🙂
Non-fiction Chapter Books about Elections
- Presidential Elections: And Other Cool Facts by Syl Sobel – We have the 2nd edition of this book, but when I was getting the link for it, I noticed there is a newer edition, so I’ve included its cover and Amazon link above as well. The one we have is an enjoyable way for kids (and their parents) to learn answers to questions about elections, including Who can run for president? … Who can vote? … What is the Electoral College? … What is a third-party candidate? … What if something happens to the president? … Which Republican president had a Democrat for his vice president? … How many candidates have won the popular vote but lost the election? … Why was President Truman so happy in 1948, when he read the Chicago Tribune headline that declared: “Dewey Defeats Truman”? … Which three pairs of relatives have been U.S. presidents? … What’s a caucus? … How often has the vice president become president?
- Election!: A Kid’s Guide to Picking our President by Dan Gutman – I hope you’ll forgive me for adding one last book to the list that we haven’t read yet. When I saw that Dan Gutman (who wrote our favorite fiction selection on this topic, The Kid Who Ran for President) had also written a non-fiction book to help kids understand elections, I knew that it would be a worthwhile read. I still haven’t managed to get my hands on it, but if you get a chance to, I think you’ll find it worth your while.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little mini-series on learning about elections. Please let me know what you would add and how you are learning about elections this year! And don’t forget to visit my Pinterest board about elections as well! It’s full of great hands-on ideas!