Thank You for Voting: The Past, Present, and Future of Voting

Harper/HarperCollins/. Jun. 2020. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062972385.
Gr 5-8–This guide to America’s voting history is divided into three parts: “The Stories of How We Got the Vote,” “Know Before You Vote,” and “How to Get People to Vote.” The first part details the history of voting in the United States and the struggles everyone—except for property-owning, white men—have endured in procuring the right to vote. These chapters are dry and uninspiring. The second part explains the importance of voting and discusses topics such as polling and the role of the press in politics and voting. The language is at a middle-grade reader’s level. The chapter focusing on the Electoral College is a standout. The final section could engage younger readers when the text examines the “influencers” behind voting and their methods to encourage voting. Chapters like “Young People and Voting” and “Studying Voters: What Gets Them to the Polls?” will speak to readers who already feel a calling to student government. Older middle-grade students who have clear memories of the 2016 election may reflect on their personal experiences and feelings. This could be valuable when applied to ethics or civics lessons. Students could study the 2020 election and voting awareness campaigns, which could lead to discussions on the success or failure of those coordinated efforts.
VERDICT This title may not be at the top of your circulation reports, but it will serve a purpose when needed.

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