Dan Gutman has written approximately one million books, and this is the first I've ever read. Election is a nice, basic guide to the election process. It's set up to be a series of questions and answers. The answers are nice and straightforward, making the process at least understandable, even if the candidates and their rhetoric aren't particularly easy to understand.
While the writing was easy to follow and the questions were logically answered I did have a little problem with the tone. I know this book is geared towards upper elementary and middle school students, the tone was occasionally condescending, and even kids pick up on that. Take this, for example, from the introduction.
Every four years, the grown-ups of America go a little crazy. You see grown men and women wearing funny hats and T-shirts, waving flags, putting goofy bumper stickers on their cars, buttons on their shirts, and signs on their front lawns. There are silly songs, slogans, ads and balloons. It's like one big yearlong party.The language is problematic, very much like a "grown-up" making jokes and winking at a child. Ho ho, Child, I am making jokes and amusing! I am talking to you on your level! Ho ho!
Still, if you're looking for a quick way to help a kid learn about the basic process of electing a president, this is a pretty good book to use. It is refreshingly non-partisan in tone, and by this point in election season, I'll take a little goofy condescension over mud slinging any day.
This is cross posted at my blog (Library Lass) Adventures in Reading. Check out the other awesome reviews over there. There are a lot of graphic novel reviews going up for Cybils season.
*copy courtesy of NetGalley