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Let’s Vote!

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Learn about the importance of voting in our democracy, and the history of voting rights in the U.S.. And meet some energetic kids (and a few animal characters) with big ideas who might even want to be President!

A Vote Is a Powerful Thing

A Vote Is a Powerful Thing

By: Catherine Stier
Illustrated by: Courtney Dawson
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Callie knows there’s a presidential election coming up. Her class is having an election, too, about an issue that affects them all — the class field trip! She’s about to witness first-hand what a difference a vote can make — even a single vote — and along the way will find out about the election process and why people have fought for the right to vote throughout history. A great kids-eye look at the power of the vote.

America Votes: How Our President Is Elected

America Votes: How Our President Is Elected

By: Linda Granfield
Illustrated by: Steve Bjorkman
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Elections are anything but dull, and participation is very important in a democracy. Just consider what it must be like in places where citizens can’t vote! This playful introduction to presidential elections provides a brief history of voting in the U.S. (including the "chad story") and encourages young people to get involved.

Because They Marched

Because They Marched

By: Russell Freedman
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fifty years ago well-known civil rights leaders came together with other lesser known but key individuals in Selma, Alabama. Events leading to breaking down the barriers to voting rights for African Americans are detailed through strong images and moving, well-documented narrative.

Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote

Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote

By: Kirsten Gillibrand
Illustrated by: Maira Kalman
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The women in Senator Gillibrand’s family inspired this examination of those active in the women’s suffrage movement from the late 19th to early 20th century. Some like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman are well known. Others such as Inez Mulholland and Lucy Burns are lesser known. Together, these portraits present an accessible look at early activists. Stylized illustrations enhance the presentation.

D Is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet

D Is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet

By: Elissa D. Grodin
Illustrated by: Victor Juhasz
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An A-Z trip through our government's structure, from its earliest beginnings to definitions of basic components and concepts (including immigration and taxation). From founding fathers, first ladies, and the First Amendment to the presidential oath of office, D is for Democracy details the political processes, parties, and people of democracy, American-style.

Duck for President

Duck for President

By: Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by: Betsy Lewin
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Do you think things would be better if you were in charge? Duck thinks he can do a better job than Farmer Brown, but once in power he soon tires of the duties and responsibilities of leadership. So he decides maybe he's better off writing his autobiography – which he does on a typewriter that clever readers will recognize from another book by this talented team.

Elizabeth Leads the Way

Elizabeth Leads the Way

By: Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrated by: Rebecca Gibbon
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The life of early voting rights advocate, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is presented in a compelling text and engaging watercolor illustrations.

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Matt Faulkner
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Women could not attend college, enter politics or vote when the United States was established. Over time, however, because of the work started by many women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friend, Lucretia Mott, contemporary women can vote, work and more. Vivid language and dramatic illustrations present the early trailblazers and their work. Additional information concludes this slim but informative volume.

Grace for President

Grace for President

By: Kelly DiPucchio
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An inspired teacher, the discovery of the fact that all U.S. Presidents (so far) have been male, and a tenacious girl provide the basis of a satisfying, surprisingly plausible story that explains the voting process in this country — including the Electoral College.

Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

By: Michael S. Bandy
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Based on the true story of one family’s struggle for voting rights in the civil rights-era South, this story shines an emotional spotlight on a dark facet of U.S. history. One morning, when Granddaddy heads into town in his fancy suit, Michael knows that something very special must be happening — and sure enough, everyone is lined up at the town hall! For the very first time, Granddaddy is allowed to vote, and he couldn’t be more proud. 

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

By: Linda White
Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hatmaker, wife, mother, pioneer, and activist, Esther Morris was instrumental in getting the vote for women in Wyoming, the first state to pass such a law. Whether brewing tea or learning to sew, from an early age Esther adamantly states, I could do that! — the mantra of her life.

I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference

I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference

By: Mark Shulman
Illustrated by: Serge Bloch
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This picture book explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: "Which do you like better, apples or oranges?", to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives. "If you don’t vote, you don’t get to choose." Backmatter includes information about the United States electoral process.

Ida B. Wells at her typewriter in cover of picture book biography

Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth

By: Michelle Duster
Illustrated by: Laura Freeman
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ida B. Wells was an educator, journalist, feminist, businesswoman, newspaper owner, public speaker, suffragist, civil rights activist, and women’s club leader. She was a founder of the NAACP, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, the Alpha Suffrage Club, and the Negro Fellowship League. She wrote, spoke, and traveled, challenging the racist and sexist norms of her time.

If I Ran For President

If I Ran For President

By: Catherine Stier
Illustrated by: Lynne Avril
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Six children discuss what they would do if they were running for president, describing the election process all the way from making the decision to run to being sworn in on Inauguration Day.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

By: Jonah Winter
Illustrated by: Shane Evans
Genre: Biography, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As the older woman, Ms Lillian, walks a steep hill to vote. While walking, she remembers the precipitous climb that those who preceded her made so that she could cast her ballot. The storyteller’s tone of the text and dramatic illustrations tell a powerful story.

Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women's Suffrage

Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

By: Claire Rudolph Murphy
Illustrated by: Stacey Schuett
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An inspiring story of the fight for women’s suffrage, based on the experiences of a real girl. Ten-year-old Bessie Keith Pond discovers that women can’t vote when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to help lead the campaign for women’s suffrage. Stirred to action, Bessie joins the movement and discovers that small efforts can result in small changes ― and maybe even big ones.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.

Max for President!

Max for President!

By: Jarrett Krosoczka
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

It's election time, and both Max and Kelly are running for class president. They busily make campaign signs and buttons and develop their platform. There can only be one winner, though, so someone is bound to be disappointed. All ends well, though, in this satisfying and recognizable story.

Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote

Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote

By: Dean Robbins
Illustrated by: Nancy Zhang
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In 1918, a young woman named Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party convinced President Woodrow Wilson to support women’s right to vote. Still, women would not get the vote for two more years! Alice’s story is told for younger readers in translucent watercolors and a lighthearted narrative. Additional sources are included.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

By: Alexandra Wallner
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Susan B. Anthony lived and worked as a teacher when women were paid less for the same jobs performed by men and could not vote in any election. Her work and perseverance helped change the entire country and is presented in accessible language and simple illustrations that evoke the period. Resource notes are included.

The Voice of the People: American Democracy in Action

The Voice of the People: American Democracy in Action

By: Betsy Maestro
Illustrated by: Giulio Maestro
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

How do our leaders, from local mayors on up to Presidents and Supreme Court Justices, go about getting their jobs, and just what are their jobs? Learn what every good citizen needs to know about American democracy in action, and how our basic system of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” remains the same.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Ekua Holmes
Genre: Biography, Poetry, Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stirring poems and vibrant collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of the Civil Rights and voting rights movements during the 1950s through the 1970s. Born in the Mississippi delta, the youngest of 20 children, Hamer had to drop out of school after sixth grade to work in the cotton fields before she became a powerful voice for her people. The book vividly brings to life Hamer’s legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.

Vote!

Vote!

By: Eileen Christelow
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The history of voting in the United States is presented using a town's mayoral election as the framework. Even the town dogs have their say in the whimsical, cartoon-like illustrations which provide additional information for the reader.

When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You

When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You

By: Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Markel
Illustrated by: Grace Lin
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1932 book on citizenship for young people now revised and updated for a contemporary audience. Beginning with government workers like firefighters and garbage collectors, and moving up through local government to the national stage, this book explains that the people in government work for the voter.

Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections

Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections

By: Peter W. Barnes
Illustrated by: Cheryl Shaw Barnes
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Featuring Woodrow G. Washingtail, a civic-minded mouse with presidential ambitions, readers will follow Woodrow as he runs for president of the United Mice of America — introducing children to campaigning, elections, volunteering, and more.

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