A Kids’ Guide to America’s First Ladies by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Anna DiVito

 

Published by HarperCollins

Summary:  Which First Lady raised silkworms in the White House?  Who crocheted 3,500 pairs of slippers while her husband was President?  Kathleen Krull profiles each U.S. President’s wife, including Melania Trump, in 20 chapters.  Some, like Martha Washington, Jackie Kennedy, and Michelle Obama, get their own chapters, while others are put in groups of two to five.  Biographical information is given, along with each woman’s contributions to her husband’s administration.  There are boxes of interesting informational tidbits through each chapter, as well as a “Women Break Through” section that shows what was going on for women at the time.  Two drawings of each First Lady are given, one a portrait-style head shot and the other showing her in the White House.  A final chapter summarizes the role of the First Lady and how it has changed over time.  Includes a list of selected resources and an pretty extensive index. 256 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  I read this fascinating book in a single day.  The chapters about lesser-known First Ladies are particularly interesting.  Krull’s writing style is so engaging, the pages just fly by.

Cons:  It seemed odd that there was no mention of Hillary Clinton running for President, given that Melania Trump was profiled.  

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