Publishers Weekly Review
|Every Election Day, Stanton Elementary School "changes from a school to a POLLING STATION!" And while the kids who attend Stanton are too young to vote, they've realized, as McNamara puts it, "Kids have to live with adult choices!" So they're going to make sure those adults stop making excuses and exercise their right to vote. Player's digitally drawn cast may sport eager eyes, big smiles, and rosy cheeks, but they will not be denied. The kids canvass, help their own families develop voting plans, and when a woman tells one group she'll be out of town, little Mia pipes up, "In our state you can vote early!" And it works: the turnout is so big, it covers an entire double gatefold. An exhilarating tribute to junior grassroots organizing that might just inspire a Get an Adult to Vote movement. A list of acts of Congress concludes. Ages 4--8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal Review
|K-Gr 3--Stanton Elementary closes on Election Day in November to serve the community not just as a school, but as a polling station for voters. The students decide to take action. They learn about the election process in an effort to spread the word about the importance of voting to those who actually have the power to vote--namely, the adults in their lives. From the author of A Poem in Your Pocket, this book is a motivational call to action. Avoiding divisive partisan rhetoric, McNamara instead addresses the many reasons people give for not voting. For instance, when one student approaches a woman about voting, the woman replies that she does not like waiting in line. The student replies that if she can wait in line for coffee or for a movie, she can wait in line to vote. It is also mentioned that voting early or by mail is a possibility. Information on how to access voting and voter registration information is prevalent throughout as the students research in the library and visit their local election office. At the end is a list of Congressional Acts that demonstrate the rights that have been awarded to Americans throughout history, offering inspiration for how voices can collectively make a difference. VERDICT This entertaining and engaging story has a powerful and timely message. The children sum it up best by stating, "Kids have to live with adults' choices," which makes voting a difficult task to ignore.--Kaitlin Malixi, Kensington Health Sciences Academy, Philadelphia
|With the rise of new legislation mandating civic education before high school, this book could not be timelier. When the kids of Stanton Elementary learn that their school will close on Election Day to become a polling station, they are energized to participate, declaring that kids have to live with adult choices, which is why they must help by urging voter participation. Vibrant illustrations contribute to the almost frenetic energy with which the children spread the word about Election Day. They encounter apathetic adults who are quick with excuses for not voting, but the children are ready with eloquent reasoning for why standing in line, being out of town, or thinking that a single vote won't make a difference are poor reasons for not heading to the polls. There's a bit of shaming going on here, and it's spot-on! A back-matter list of Acts of Congress gives examples of significant laws to dispel any lingering doubts about the importance of voting. A must-read in all social studies classes.--Amina Chaudhri Copyright 2019 Booklist
|The children of fictional Stanton Elementary School educate themselves and their community about the vote in this picture book.With its illustrations of simple shapes in bright colors imbuing a sense of positive action and a diverse cast of characters, this picture book rocksand that's even before the narrative takes hold. When Stanton's students learn that their school becomes a polling station every two years, they want to be part of itbut learn they can't vote until they are 18. Undeterred, they take action. The kids do their research and then engage their community to encourage those of voting age to go to the polls. They go door to door with voter-guide pamphlets, they hold a bake sale (with clever reminders like "Donut forget to vote"), and remind their families to vote. Each child-empowering scenario is paired with an adult's excuse ("I'll be away"; "I'm not even registered"; "I can't walk so far"), and with each comment, the kids have an answer that draws on their research: "You can vote by mail"; "It's not hard to register"; "A volunteer can drive you!" These kids mean business; it's their future after all. Children and adults depicted represent a range of skin colors, hair textures, and gender presentations; one girl and her aunt wear hijab. Backmatter includes a quick listing of kid-relevant federal legislation.Essentialthe energetic narrative and uplifting illustrations will inspire and empower young readers to get out the vote. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.