Rating: 1-5: 4.5
Genre: Picture book biography
What did you like about the book? Following the format of her previous picture book biographies (Helen’s Big World, Lady Liberty), author Rappaport uses three avenues to convey information about John F. Kennedy: text containing biographical information, full-page paintings created by Matt Tavares, and numerous quotes that serve well to reveal Kennedy’s personality. Starting with his childhood in a competitive family, Kennedy is shown maturing through his experience in World War II, as a young senator, and then finally as president. Missteps (authorizing the Bay of Pigs invasion) and tragedies (his assassination) are included, but handled in an age-appropriate manner. Excellent source notes, timeline, and end notes round out this offering. Starts and ends with quotes in oversized text on the end pages.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Wear and tear will likely take a toll on the paperback cover. Given that the topic has lasting appeal, spring for the hard cover edition, especially if buying for a library.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to elementary school readers as an exemplar of both an inspiring life and of narrative non-fiction. Readalike: There are a number of picture book biographies authored by Rappaport. They are all of superior quality.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve with your other picture book biographies.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you enjoy reading inspiring narrative non-fiction.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 12/4/16