Exploring the White House: Inside America’s Most Famous Home

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Dec. 2020. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062906410.
Gr 3-7–Brower offers an introduction to the White House for young readers. The text covers a lot of ground, including the duties of White House staff, the architecture, and the general history of the building. Chapters detail moving day, dining, growing up in the White House, pets, and White House ghosts. Fun facts, photographs, anecdotes from staff and residents, and entertaining lists such as “Favorite Foods of Some of the Presidents” are sprinkled throughout. Readers will be surprised to learn new things. In the chapter “Understanding the Past: Race and the White House,” Brower states, “the White House—like the nation it represents—has always had a complicated relationship with race.” This chapter focuses on the history of race and racism in the White House and the United States, but it leaves no room for conversation about race relations in our country today. A selected bibliography, discussion questions, and further reading are included.
VERDICT This book is sure to intrigue many older elementary and middle school students. Purchase where historical and political nonfiction circulates well.

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