A noteworthy review of Our Presidents from Children's Literature on January 1, 2002
This entry in the well-written ‘Our Presidents’ series provides an overview of Grover Cleveland’s life, early years in New Jersey and New York, his rise to the governorship of New York, and his leading of the Mugwump Party. The text also covers Cleveland’s efforts at reform and his loss between his two presidential periods to Benjamin Harrison even though he won the popular vote for his hoped-for second term. A variety of photographs show his family, early career, his wife, the youngest of all First Ladies at 21, and official government activities. Other outtake pages include one about Boss Tweed’s corruption, the Pullman Strike, and a comment about the presidential veto which Cleveland used many times. Sidebars include interesting facts and picture captions are informative and lengthy enough to inform casual browsers. Each book in the series ends with a glossary defining highlighted words in the text, a timeline specific to the president’s life, a complete table of presidents through George W. Bush with their home states, life spans, presidential spans, political party and the name of their first ladies, a page of ‘Presidential Facts,’ and numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, and an index. All in all, it’s a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents available to upper elementary and middle-school readers.