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John F. Kennedy: The Making of a Leader
Time for Kids Biographies

By Ritu Upadhyay and the editors of Time for Kids

     Writing a biography of a controversial figure for children under 9 has got to be challenging and Time for Kids has done a masterful job with this one. In simple words and clear text, the authors manage to bring certain wistfulness to Kennedy's life. Would Kennedy have preferred a life as a writer? Was his family controlling? Even the controversy surrounding his assassination is touched on. The book hints at questions the reader can ask himself about Kennedy and the people and circumstances surrounding him. JFK was a man of complex times and the book can only touch on most of the circumstances of his life, but it does so in a way that leaves the reader with new ideas to consider.

     Despite the simplicity of the book, I found it touching -- but then I'm old and I grew up in a country that loved Kennedy both as a living president and as a symbol of hope. Without making him a saint, this book allows us to like Kennedy and admire him. In a country that has long lived without much admiration for its politicians, the book was refreshing without being saccharine. I heartily recommend it.


The Book

Harper Collins Publishers
January 4th, 2005
Nonfiction/Ages 7 - 9
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2005
© 2005