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 William McKinley’s life, early years in Ohio, character-forming military activity in the Civil War, tragic family life, political life, and important aspects of his presidency, including his role in making America a world power in the ‘Open Door’ policy of trade with China and the Spanish-American War. A variety of photographs show his family, early career, and official government activities, and tell of his death by infection from an assassination bullet that couldn’t be found. Other outtake pages include information about his vice-president Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders and a day in the life of McKinley at work. 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. Also included are a page of ‘Presidential Facts,’ numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, as well as an index. All in all, it’s a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents for upper elementary and middle-school readers.