Grace for President

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Grace for President Book Poster Image
School campaign tale explains U.S. democracy in fun way.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Explains U.S. democracy, including the role of the electoral college, in a simple, fun, kid-friendly way. Shows the steps you need to take in a presidential campaign, including giving speeches, making posters, creating a list of promises of what you'll do if elected, and waiting to see how many electoral college votes you get. Introduces terms such as "campaign," "constituents," and "podium."

Positive Messages

Anyone can run for president. Stand up for what you believe in. If you want to be a leader, work hard to present yourself to voters and serve the community. If you make promises, be prepared to follow through on them -- do the work, and set a good example.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Grace is smart, enthusiastic, focused, hardworking, and respectful of her opponent. She campaigns on no bullies, no littering, and no more fish-stick tacos. She also has a sense of service: She joins the safety squad, organizes a school beautification committee, and volunteers in the school cafeteria. Thomas is smart and mostly respectful of his opponent, but he tries to woo voters with promises of free things and is a bit overconfident about winning (he assumes all the boy electors will vote for him because he's a boy).

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a fun, lively story of a mock presidential election in an elementary school. Even the electoral college is thoroughly yet simply explained for young readers. The two kid candidates run issues-oriented campaigns, and they never resort to mean tactics (though the boy, Thomas, gets a bit overconfident in his win and doesn't work as hard to reach voters). There's genuine suspense regarding the outcome, and readers will be swept up in the enthusiasm of appealing, democracy-loving Grace. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 and 10-year-old Written byElysse M. August 29, 2020

civics education is not just about government--we also need kids to understand political campaigns

we've mostly all been brainwashed into thinking that anyone running for political office is self-interested and only in it to get access to more money. th... Continue reading
Parent Written bynais1 July 5, 2018

awesome story!

this books gives a quick glimpse in to the electoral process and the ways in which each state's vote is weighed in the election of the US president. It al... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 8, 2018

Anyone can be president

This is a great picture book story that is completely clean and has educational value, positive messages, and role models for the young ones. This was in my 3rd... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GRACE FOR PRESIDENT, elementary school student Grace is shocked to learn that there have been "no girls" elected president in in American history. Her teacher decides to stage a school election for president to help the kids understand how American democracy works -- including the electoral college (with certain kids representing certain states). Grace runs against Thomas, a boy in another class. They campaign hard, making posters, buttons, campaign promises; taking polls; and noting a gender gap. Grace gives speeches at recess and holds rallies after school, while Thomas gets a bit overconfident, assuming he'll win because more of the electors are boys. Finally, the election comes down to one state. How will Wyoming vote? 

Is it any good?

Our complex democracy is explained in a clear, kid-friendly way in this lively story of an elementary school presidential election. Grace is a passionate and appealing character, and Thomas is a worthy (if somewhat complacent) opponent. They both model enthusiasm for the electoral process without ever being mean to each other. How the electoral college works is explained simply in the story, and an Author's Note goes further into its history and purpose.

Grace envisions herself having a career in politics, and on the endpapers, she's pictured among the presidents on Mount Rushmore. This charming book may inspire others to make a difference in their community and run for office.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how American democracy is portrayed in Grace for President. How does the electoral college work? 

  • Why do you think there's never been a woman president? 

  • How is running to be class president different from running to be president of the United States? How is it similar to a national campaign? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strong girls and American history

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