Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama (Mcswe

Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama (Mcswe

Edited by Jory John
For ages 7 to 10
McSweeney's, 2009   ISBN: 978-1934781579

When Barak Obama won the presidential election people of all ages all over the country celebrated. Jory John, who is the program director of an after-school tutoring center for children in San Francisco, 826 Valencia, decided to ask his students to try a different sort of writing exercise. He asked them to write letters to the president. The letters were so delightful, meaningful, and funny that he suggested that the sister organizations of the San Francisco 826 Valencia should also participate. And so children in Boston, New York, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Los Angeles also wrote letters. This book is a collection of the letters and pictures that the children created, and they are a joy to read.

Seven-year-old Stephanie Gonzalez, who lives in Los Angeles, warns the president that "People don't want to clean" and that it will be hard to "save the earth." She promises to help him clean up the world. Matthew Wong who is eight and lives in Chicago tells the president what to do when he gets to the White House. He will need to "get a puppy" and "make a speech." Alexis Feliciano who lives in Brooklyn tells the president that he should "fix the economy." This nine year old is appalled because the price of her favorite treat at Starbucks has gone up by thirty-one cents.

With advice, suggestions, praise, and messages of hope, these children will give readers of all ages something to smile about. Older readers will feel proud of these children, knowing that in them lies a great future.