Resolutely partisan but perspicacious in spots, from an author who’s been there.

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RIPPLES OF HOPE

YOUR GUIDE TO ELECTING A NEW PRESIDENT

A call to action aimed at young nonvoters willing to join efforts to end “the Trump nightmare.”

Plouffe, former campaign manager and White House senior adviser for Barack Obama, readily admits his partisanship. Still, along with slamming the current administration’s tactics (“distorting the truth to confuse people is the strategy”), he does offer several basic ways for readers who won’t be voting in 2020 or, probably, the 2022 midterms to take active roles in promoting candidates and persuading reluctant or undecided adults to go to the polls. The design punctuating his simply phrased narrative with exhortations in much larger type, the book offers, besides vague suggestions about creating videos or using social media, reasonably effective activities, such as various forms of nagging parents and other grown-ups to volunteer and vote—or, better yet, going door to door (not alone), because people are more likely to remember engaging with a child canvasser come Election Day. Frankly noting that modern national elections aren’t “national” at all but actually decided in just six to eight “battleground” states, the author also explains in general how campaigns are conducted and how the Electoral College system works. He doesn’t spare much attention for local election campaigns or primaries but much of his advice would likely be applicable (though, it may be worth noting, his current gig is with the company that created the now-infamous Iowa caucus app). Much of it he also lays out for older audiences in the co-published A Citizens Guide to Beating Donald Trump (2020).

Resolutely partisan but perspicacious in spots, from an author who’s been there. (websites, reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25975-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

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FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE

A GUIDE TO SURVIVING DIVORCE FOR PRETEENS AND THEIR FAMILIES

As in their previous collaborations (Colors of Freedom, Voices of Rape, not reviewed), Bode and Mack portray an issue through the voices of children and adults affected by it. Bode (recently deceased) interviewed preteens, their parents, and adult experts, and organized their responses into parts "For Girls and Boys" and "For Parents." In sections with titles like "Public Recognition" or "What's in Your Heart," her text, addressed directly to the reader, synthesizes many of the responses in a way that should comfort and challenge young and adult readers. At least half of the book is comprised of responses she gathered from her survey, some of which are illustrated in strips by Mack. The result is an engagingly designed book, with questions and topics in bold type so that readers can browse for the recognition they may be looking for. They will need to browse, as there is no index, and young readers will certainly be tempted by the "For Parents" section, and vice versa. A bibliography (with two Spanish titles) and list of Web resources (with mostly live links) will help them seek out more information. They may well have other questions—especially having to do with parents' sexuality—which they don't find answered here, but this is a fine and encouraging place to start. (print and on-line resources) (Non-fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-81945-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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