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Who Is Barack Obama?

de Roberta Edwards

Sèrie: Who Was ...? (37)

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475839,951 (4.23)2
As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as our first African-American president. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography is perfect for primary graders looking for a longer, fuller life story than is found in the author's bestselling beginning reader Barack Obama: United States President.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A great biography of Barack Obama that describes his younger years, and adult years before he became President. The book does a nice job of incorporating pictures with the text to allow for high interest for younger readers. The book is broken up into small, readable chapters. I had read a Who Was? book before, but this was my first Who Is?. These would be great biographies for upper elementary students.
  Debbie.C | Jul 23, 2020 |
The Who Is/Who Was series is incredibly popular amongst its target audience of upper elementary/lower junior high students. This series is constantly flying off the shelves at the library, so I decided to check a few out to see what the fuss is all about. To get a fair sense of the scope and accuracy of the books, I chose a few subjects for whom I know a decent amount about, and a few subjects where my knowledge beyond the very basics is lacking.

This biography of President Obama falls into the first category. Overall, I was impressed with this biographical offering. The book follows Obama from his birth to his re-election in 2012, focusing more on his years before the presidency. Perhaps avoiding the political realities (including controversies) is a good move for a book geared for children, but I thought just a tiny more information about that aspect would be beneficial.

Along the way, the book covers a fair amount of detail and provides pull-out contextual pieces where needed. For instance, the book does not simply mention that Obama spent some of his childhood in Indonesia; it goes on to have a one-page overview of where Indonesia is, what its climate is like, how many people live there, etc. These pull-outs are great for making sure children really understand what they are reading, instead of skimming over some factoid and forgetting it soon after because it has no connection to anything they already know.

The book is broken down into short chapters, which makes for easy places to take a break. However, it is a short and quick enough read that advanced readers could probably finish it in one or two sittings. Back matter includes a bibliography (with books for a child audience starred) and timelines of Obama's life and the world at large. The latter one is a random mish-mosh of hugely important events (e.g., the Iraq War) and really rather insignificant ones (e.g., the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll). Even though some of the choices were bizarre, I do like the world timeline for providing even more context to this biography.

The illustrations included in the book are so bad as to be almost useless. They break up the text, but they are so loosely sketched that it's often difficult to see what's going on in them. There were also a few details here and there where I thought the book missed the mark. For instance, in describing Obama's campaign and presidency, there is only one brief mention of his and McCain's "running mates." In other words, Vice President Joe Biden is never referred to by name once. I think a sentence or two would have been a wise inclusion. In an earlier section, the text makes note of the terrorist attacks on September 11 as being perpetrated by "a Muslim group called Al Qaeda." Al Qaeda is as much a "Muslim group" as the Lord's Resistance Army is a "Christian group." It may seem minor, but that kind of language reinforces negative stereotypes and I can't help but think a young Muslim child reading that would be hurt by it.

On the whole though, this book does its job of teaching kids about Obama's life. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Oct 27, 2017 |
This was very informational. I was able to relate to him by learning about his background. I also understood what his role was as the president of the United States. ( )
  rubymoore | Apr 23, 2017 |
This book was amazing, I love all of the "Who was ..." books, but I think that this one is more interesting because it is not was "who was" it is a "who is" because Obama is still living today. I would have a fifth grade class read this book and read the "who was George Washington" book and I would have them compare and contrast the differences. Not just the differences between the two people, but how America was different and how we have changed so much. They could do a Venn diagram about the similarities and differences, for example, they were both president of the United States of America, but at totally two different times in history. I would have them write a paper about if they think that George Washington would approve of the way that America is today or if he would be disappointed with the way this country is running.
  AnnaTaylor | Apr 17, 2016 |
I did not want to put this book down it was a easy read that I did not want to put down. After hearing Barack Obama's name in the news every day for the past 7 years I figured I knew everything there is to know about him. I was so enthralled with this story because I learned something new about Barack Obama on every page. I would use this book with 4 - 6 graders during a social studies lesson. It would be great to use with a KWL assignment.
  Adam_sundstrom | Apr 13, 2016 |
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As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as our first African-American president. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography is perfect for primary graders looking for a longer, fuller life story than is found in the author's bestselling beginning reader Barack Obama: United States President.

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