Dewey: 324.973'0905
This title covers these subjects:  Presidents -- United States -- BiographyPresidents -- United States -- ElectionGraphic novels
Obama: The Historic Election of America’s 44th President (Hardcover)

by Agnieszka Biskup

Capstone Press
In 2004, Barack Obama was a barely known senator from Illinois. Just five years later, he would be the 44th president of the United States, and the first African American to hold that office. Follow Obama's campaign as he fights for the Democratic Party nomination and the election that would make history.

Reading Level: 3-4
Interest Level: 3-9
Lexile Level: GN 810L
Accelerated ReaderATOS Level: 5.6
AR Points: 0.5
AR Quiz Number: 145750
Early Intervention Level: 26

ISBN:  9781429660167 / 1-4296-6016-3
Publisher:  Capstone Press
Brand:  Graphic Library
Copyright: 2012
Language: English
Page Count:  32
Page Dimensions:  7 x 9
Binding:  Reinforced Library Binding

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Agnieszka Biskup

This brief but informative graphic biography of Barak Obama begins with his 2004 run for the senate, and ends with his 2008 presidential victory. Direct quotations are used for all dialog throughout, with sources cited on the title page verso. Illustrations are colorful, detailed and flow with the text. Back material includes a summary of Barak Obama’s major accomplishments, illustrated with color photos; a glossary; further reading; a FactHound website; and an index.


No Flying No Tights blog - Michael

...this is a great book. It manages to speak to the age group at which it’s aimed without being condescending. It’s comprehensive, but not overly complex. It tells children about the election in ways that they will understand and helps make the vast and scary world of adult politics a little more accessible. I highly recommend it to any elementary school social studies class.

December 2, 2012

VOYA - Lisa Martincik

In 2008, Chicago senator Barack Obama was a front-runner for Democratic presidential nomination, despite being a relative newcomer to political office. The same year, Sarah Palin, the popular governor of Alaska, was invited to the position of Republican vice-presidential candidate to reinvigorate John McCain’s campaign. Each experienced a popular and rapid rise to prominence on the largest political stage of the United States, capturing a portion of the American popular attention and transforming the campaign landscape. These two books in the American Graphic series provide an overview of the lead-ups to the campaigns, campaign experiences, and the campaign and election results. The graphic presentation in these two books is very easy to follow but sometimes falls prey to overlap of show and tell—describing in a caption what is then repeated in action or word balloons. This is generally considered a redundancy in comic books, where word and picture are intended to supplement rather than replicate each other. This occasional clutter, however, does not impede the flow of the simple, cogent time lines peppered with direct quotations from sources noted in the beginning of the books. The volumes mention Obama’s and Palin’s platforms and stated beliefs without going into much detail. They also largely avoid mention of the scandals that inevitably hover around the campaigns. The Palin book does note some of her gaffes, which creates a more balanced feel, whereas the Obama book devotes a bit more time to the opposition. A glossary of (mostly) political terms and a short list of further reading round out these short volumes, providing potential launching pads for discussion, especially as a new electoral cycle draws near.

February 1, 2012

Crowding the Bookshelf blog

In 2004, Barack Obama captured national attention when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. In 2008, he appeared at the DNC again - this time to accept the party's nomination for their presidential candidate. Where did Barack Obama come from, and how did he rise to this important position? Find out all of the details in this book that captures all of the exciting moments from the 2008 presidential race. In many ways it feels like we just had the 2008 election, but the 2012 election is already gearing up, and there have been lots of other books written about Barack Obama. I enjoyed this book; it was detailed but kept the story moving well. I think the graphic novel/comic style is appealing and a fitting way to tell the story of a presidential race that was dominated by images. The book is pretty fairly balanced and in my opinion doesn't take cheap shots at any of the other politicians who are also featured in its pages (at the end of the book I see there is a Sarah Palin book listed; I'd like to read that one as well). The back of the book also has a glossary of terms and books and websites for further reading.

July 31, 2011

SLJ's Good Comics for Kids blog - Esther Keller

Teachers can use these titles together to show the differing takes on political ideas or the difference in how the American public received both of these candidates.

November 1, 2012

Jenn's Bookshelves blog - John

The election of Barack Obama will always be an election I remember. Like President Obama, I come from a mixed family. His election gave me hope that even I could be president! This book was nice and short, only about 34 pages. It was a great summary of President Obama’s election, starting from the very beginning. I think it would make the perfect addition to a classroom, too. While there are some people who aren’t happy with the President right now (at least that’s what I get from the few minutes of news I watch at night) Barack Obama’s election was still a historical one. Nothing will ever change that, or my appreciation and admiration of this man.

August 4, 2011

Graphic Novel Reader blog - Nathan Herald

Analysis Any time a politically themed book comes out, one has to question the intent of the author, as well as checking their own biases at the door. Biskup’s latest book sets out to tell the tale of President Obama, from his “Politics of Hope” speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, all the way to his election to the office of president. In between these two events is lots of room (and fodder) to beatify or demonize Obama, but Biskup refuses to take sides in this book, merely laying out things as they happened. Various “issues” (as they were touted in the media) are touched on, from the “…most famous fist bump in history” to Obama’s 30 minute promotion of his presidential bid are all treated the same – enough respect to alert the reader that there may be more to the incident, but not defaming or derogatory to participants either. Final Thoughts Given recent events in the real world, I had to really make sure my personal feelings about the subject matter did not taint my reading. Doing that, I was pleasantly surprised to read a book that was real researched, well written and well illustrated. The artwork in particular deserves a special mention, as it stays as true as possible to how the participants look in real life, without over-exaggerating or insinuating a preference for people (I’ve seen several books that villainize the other contenders just through the artwork alone). All in all, I found this book to be very illuminating, if a little dry, but well suited for the classroom or library.

August 1, 2011

Booklist - Ilene Cooper

Focusing on American history, the American Graphic series uses a comic format to introduce figures that have caught people’s attention from the present and the past. Here the focus is on the last election’s new faces. Obama begins at the 2004 Democratic convention, where the future president’s speech had delegates on their feet, recognizing they were in the presence of a rising star. His rapid ascent, the presidential campaign, and the election are all covered, and there are also some nice personal bits with Michelle and his daughters. There are a few missteps, including a narrow strip that shows his parents holding hands with a red heart over them, and having Obama say, before his keynote address, that his stomach feels “grumbly,” which is not a direct quote. (Melia’s amusing comment, “Shouldn’t you try to be vice-president first?” is an example of a good way to use a quote.) Overall, this does capture the hope and excitement surrounding the election of the first African American president. Sarah Palin’s surprise ascension to vice-presidential nominee is covered completely: both the excitement she brought to the ticket as well her weaknesses are discussed. Though Sarah Palin has an uncertain future role in politics, this book leaves open the possibility of bigger things to come. Although the artwork varies in accomplishment even from panel to panel, it does capture the vigor of a political season. One excellent addition is putting actual quotes in yellow. The back matter includes a spread summing up each subject and his or her accomplishments and leads readers to for more information.

December 15, 2011