Thompson, William and Dorcas. George W. Bush (childhoods of the presidents). Mason Crest Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1590842812. $17.95. 48 pp. Reviewer: Donna Cardon Reading Level: Intermediate Rating: Excellent Genre: nonfiction; Subject: Bush, George W.; Presidents-Juvenile literature, United States-Juvenile literature; Books-Reviews; How many people know that George W. Bush had a little sister who died when she was only 3 and that he called his father Poppy? These and other facts about President Bush's childhood are waiting for children in this interesting biography. After a brief chapter about President Bush's response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, this biography begins before George W. Bush was born and recounts how his parents met. It spends 2/3rds of the text on the years before President Bush left college. Readers learn that he spent his earliest years living in a small apartment. As his father's wealth grew "Georgie's" life changed. He moved from a small town to a bigger city, and then to a private boarding school. He was not as studious as his father and more of a socialite. His people skills helped propel him into the White House. The engaging text is full of well chosen quotes. The author has resisted the temptation to fictionalize dialog. Though emphasizing Bush's strengths, the author also mentions his struggle with alcohol abuse. The pages have nice type set and are illustrated with both color and black and white photographs. This is a great resource for children who want to get to know their president a little more. It is not as good of a resource for reports because it only mentions in passing the President's accomplishments as an adult. It does include a useful Chronology, Glossary, Further Readings, and Internet Resources section. Others in the series are also well done.
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