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The Kid Who Ran for President


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About the Author

Dan Gutman has written over a hundred books for young readers, such as The Homework Machine, the My Weird School series, the baseball card adventure series, and many others. He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey with his wife Nina and their two children.


It doesn't take much for sixth-grader Judd Moon's best friend, Lane, to convince him that a kid rather than a grownup should lead the U.S. into the new millennium-and that Judd is just the boy for the job. Fast-talking Lane grabs the reigns as his pal's campaign manager and the intrepid duo quickly obtains the necessary signatures to get Judd on the ballot for the Presidential election of 2000 (the novel opens in 1999). Lining up a blue-eyed, blond classmate as his "First Babe" and a wise if cynical elderly African American woman as his running mate, Judd establishes the Lemonade Party (named for the commodity sold at his first fund-raiser) and promises to abolish all homework if his peers can convince their parents to vote for him. As the rookie politician's campaign takes off at a rollicking clip, readers will be caught up in the inventive absurdity of Gutman's (Taking Flight) plot. Despite the preposterous premise and the characters' endless stream of unrealistically clever quips and wisecracks, the author pulls off a feat as impressive as Judd's victory: he actually makes his hero a credible 12-year-old. This snappy, lighthearted farce will win kids' votes. Ages 9-13. (Oct.)

Gr 4-7-Meet Judson Moon, the newest and most exciting presidential candidate in the year 2000 elections. How is he different from other candidates? First of all, he is 12 years old. Second, his friend and campaign manager, Lane, came up with the idea, and Judson is going along with it because it sounds like fun, not because he has a real understanding of the issues. And third, his running mate is an elderly African-American woman who used to be his babysitter. Judson's campaign is more successful than anyone could have predicted. Supporters even start sending him money to help out. The boy begins to realize he is in over his head, but still he goes on to debate the other candidates on national television. The voters love him and vote for him, but in the end, he decides to give up the presidency. How could adults vote a 12-year-old into office? Gutman makes readers believe anything is possible in these elections. Throughout the campaign, Lane brings up interesting political issues for discussion, such as why can't somebody younger than 35 run for president? Why are there amendments to the Constitution? Should politicians get sponsored by McDonalds? What are the journalists after? This humorous, informative book will be a fun read anytime, but particularly during this election year.-Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, Los Angeles Public Library

"For a broad variety of kids ranging from Gordon Korman fans looking for a romp to embryonic candidates themselves, this should be just the ticket." -BCCB
"This humorous, informative book will be a fun read anytime..." - SLJ

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