Thomas, Garen. Yes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama. Feiwel and Friends, 2008. ISBN 9780312537098. $6.99. 206 p.
Reviewer: Lauren Bangerter
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Informational; Biography;
Subject: Obama, Barack—Juvenile literature; African American legislators—Biography—Juvenile literature; United States Congress Senate—Biography—Juvenile literature; Books—Reviews;
Yes We Can presents the life story of Illinois Senator Barack Obama from his birth in Hawaii and childhood in Indonesia, to his law school days at Harvard and current running in the 2008 presidential election.
While Thomas does a great job of explaining the different political terms, issues, and events so younger readers can understand them, Yes We Can is not an overview of presidential candidates or different political positions, nor does it expound on Obama’s political platform. Rather, it offers a glimpse into Obama’s life and focuses on Obama’s search for identity in the midst of family situations and different racial and political issues. Obama’s heritage—with roots in both America and Kenya—and the role his extended and immediate family played in his life are frequently discussed.
Tactfully explaining why Obama made certain life decisions, Thomas keeps the narrative positive, light-hearted, and conversational. With simple sentence structures and succinct descriptions, Yes We Can is an informative, quick read that acts as a good springboard book into learning more about this 2008 presidential candidate.
Volume 28, no. 6 (July/August 2008)
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