Archive for November 5th, 2008

A new president has been elected.  Governments on all levels have new participants, energy, direction, and resolve. 


…and if you as a teenager (or the parent of a teen or a person who happens to know a teenager) don’t think teens can or should be involved in politics just yet, well, I’ve got to ask, why the heck not? 


I mean, it may be hard to fathom, but someday teens will be old enough to vote, to be counted, and to run for office.  Right now, however, they can be heard, they can have an opinion, and they can be a part of the process. 


Now, how does Mr. Burton put it on Reading Rainbow?  Oh yeah, “…you don’t have to take my word for it…”



Wide awake

In David Levithan’s near-future, a gay, Jewish man is elected president of the United States.  Sixteen-year-old Duncan, being a young gay, Jewish man, is elated, especially since he’d been an active volunteer for the President-elect’s campaign.  Then, in an eerily familiar turn of events, the election results are challenged and Duncan and his friends join thousands of people converging on the state in contention, Kansas, to protest the “politics as usual” maneuvering to steal the election.  As crowds gather and as protestors and supporters of the recount clash, the teens take a stand for their beliefs, their country, and for their future.


I really like Levithan’s writing style.  It’s casual and confident.  The characters are funny and so realistic — they’re your best friends, – the folks you pass in the halls or on the streets.   Levithan also addresses real emotions, problems, and pleasures that his characters experience without being overly explicit, idealistic, or simplistic.  Wide Awake is an intriguing story, a heartwarming romance, a political statement (but not in a boring or preachy way), and well worth reading.  Twice.  🙂 


Interested in other materials featuring politics, elections, and social issues?


A Day for Vincent Chin and Me by Jacqueline Turner Banks

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

High School Musical: Get Your Vote On! by Beth Beechwood; N B Grace

Hot Air by Charles Ogden; Rick Carton

day-for-vincent-chin-and-me-jacqueline-turner-banks     hope_was_here1     high-school-musical-stories-from-east-high-8-get-your-vote-on hot-air-edgar-and-ellen

Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn FitzGerald

The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman

First Daughter series by Mitali Perkins

Vote for Larry by Janet Tashjian

soccer-chick-rules     kid-who-ran-for-president     first_daughter_white_house_rules     vote-for-larry1


Hopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obama by Steve Dougherty

Choosing the president 2008: a citizen’s guide to the electoral process / League of Women Voters; edited by Bob Guldin

It’s Your World–If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers by Mikki Halpin

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

hopes-and-dreams    choosing-the-president-2008       its-your-world1   the-audacity-of-hope1


Please Vote for Me: an experiment in democracy by Chinese 8-year-olds (2008)


We’re all in this world together.  Let’s make it better.


“Apathy is a sort of living oblivion.” Horace Greeley


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