Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fly Guy Presents the White House

I am always on the look out for books that present non-fiction material accurately, but in ways kids will want to read. That is often a hard balance to achieve. I'm always willing to look at author's who make the move from using their fictional characters to introduce non-fiction material, but I have a high standard for accuracy and age appropriate material.

While searching our libraries new available titles I ran across Fly Guy Presents: The White House (Scholastic Reader, Level 2)and decided to preview it to see if it met my standards.

I know several younger readers who love Fly Guy although he's never been on my favorite character list, so I thought he might draw readers into non-fiction topics. With the election year being in the news I thought parents and teachers might want some age appropriate material to discuss with children.

One of the strengths and the weakness of this book is it attacks a wide range of topics. From a leveled reader perspective I'm not sure this would hold the reader's attention. As a shared read with the teacher or parent, I think this book might be more effective in discussing the amount of information the author has embedded in this short book.

The book begins with an introduction to the White House, using a map to show where it is located in the United States. From there the book goes on to discussing the various people who live and work in the White House. I though this was rather an interesting point as I know as a child I never thought much beyond the President and his family. It never really occurred to me how many people it took to run the White House and the governmental staff. This is only a brief introduction, but it is better than just saying this is where the President lives. The book continues by discussing the role of First Lady and in light of the current election situation, what that role would be should a woman be elected.

From there the book provides a brief discussion of the election system, bypassing the electoral college, which was likely deemed to complicated to explain for a Level 2 reader.

The book continues with a brief history of the White House including portraits of all the Presidents. I liked the map of the White House and the stories of the President's children that were included in this section.

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