Sofia Veldez and the Vanishing Vote: The Questioneers, Book 4

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Sofia Veldez and the Vanishing Vote: The Questioneers, Book 4 Book Poster Image
Fun civics lesson inspires kids to be involved and engaged.

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

Educational Value

History of voting and social movements, facts about running elections in the United States, Spanish and English vocabulary.

Positive Messages

Be levelheaded and thoughtful in difficult situations. Voting is a right and a responsibility, and citizens should be informed about issues. Be compassionate and principled.

Positive Role Models

Sofia's abuelo (grandmother) is supportive, and gives her time, space, and advice when she needs it. The teachers, librarians, and other adults are supportive of all the kids' ideas and attempts to do the right thing.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote, by Andrea Beaty, is the fourth chapter book in the Questioneers series and a fun, meaningful way to show young readers the importance of educated, responsible voting. Setting the election in a second-grade classroom helps make the election relatable, and there's some great advice on how to be informed, evaluate information sources, and make hard decisions. There are a few Spanish words and translations sprinkled throughout the story, and a resource section at the end of the book with great information about voting rights and responsibilities, social movements, how to evaluate news sources, and more. A A Spanish language edition is scdeuled to be released in March 2021.

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What's the story?

Miss Greer's second graders are getting a pet In SOFIA VALDEZ AND THE VANISHING VOTE, and they're holding an election to decide if a bird or a turtle will live on the shelf in their classroom. Sofia is the election commissioner, trying to facilitate a fair process from nominations to campaigns to voting. The kids make posters, give speeches to the class, and fill a newspaper with ads and articles, all of which lead to fights and hard feelings. Sofia thinks it will get better when the votes are tallied, but with the results tied and one vote missing, she has to figure out how to solve the problem fairly. At the end of the book, there's information about journalism, how to identify real news sources, some history of the voting process and workers' strikes in the United States, and a section about why voting is meaningful.

Is it any good?

In her fourth installment of the Questioneers chapter books, author Andrea Beaty aims to educate and entertain, and does both spectacularly well. Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote combines a fun, relatable story and tons of practical information about the election process and history in the United States. Sofia's abuelo listens to her troubles and offers a lovely sounding board, helping her see how her grappling with what "fair" means fits in the context of history, and the precious right and responsibility of voting.

Among the many practical tips for navigating an election is the kids' discussion about how to know what information is factual and true vs. biased propaganda, and why voting matters, which is an important concept for future voters to grasp.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what voting means to them, like Abuelo did in Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote. Do the adults in your home vote? Why or why not? Do you plan to vote?

  • In what ways can you be sure you're ready to make a decision on an issue? What do you do to learn about something and weigh your options?

  • What other books have you read about voting and elections?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love early reader books and stories about voting

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