Mayor Pete: The Story of Pete Buttigieg

Holt. (Who Did It First?: Bk. 4). Jul. 2020. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250267573.
K-Gr 3–“Only time will tell who Pete Buttigieg…will become.” This recurrent phrase expresses the theme of this admiring overview of the life of the first openly gay presidential candidate. Sanders ably describes important stepping stones in Buttigieg’s life, from his childhood in South Bend, IN, to Harvard and beyond—Tunisia, England, and Chicago—before his return to South Bend, where his early political career was interrupted by his Naval Reserve service in Afghanistan. Sanders notes parallel political life experiences: losing an election in high school before being elected senior class president and losing an election in Indiana before being elected mayor of South Bend. Public service is a major theme throughout the book, but so is Buttigieg’s personal identity. The importance of Buttigieg’s candidacy is emphasized by the cover’s tagline “first-of-his-kind man running.” The back matter includes a guide to the pronunciation of Buttigieg, the requirements to become president, a time line, and selected sources. Hastings’s digitally created art often shows the former mayor with diverse crowds, reinforcing the writer’s reference to South Bend as “a community that welcomed all people.”
VERDICT An important picture book biography to add to school and public library collections.

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