Reviews for Kid Who Ran for President


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
Twelve-year-old Judson Moon runs for president of the United States on a platform of mandatory allowance and no homework. With his former baby sitter, an elderly African-American woman, as his running mate and his best friend as his savvy campaign manager, Judson's bid takes on a life of its own when the media gets hold of the story. The parody is humorous, if somewhat cynical, but the shaky premise weakens the effort. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1996 September
~ A 12-year-old is a candidate for US President in this novel by Gutman (Gymnastics, p. 602, etc.), a story with all the trappings of satire, but none of its substance. Affable but unambitious Judson Moon is judged the perfect candidate by his quick-witted, shrewd pal, Lane Brainard. No obstacle is too difficult for Lane: Soon Judson has the ideal running mate, an elderly black woman (``We're a perfect team. I'm young and she's old, I'm white and she's black''); contributions from his peers around the country add up to $20 million to finance the campaign; Congress abolishes the age requirement for executive office. One further suspension of disbelief is required, for Judson wins the election and resigns on the same night. Readers may find Judson's sense of humor more precocious than funny, and may recognize in him a nightmarish blend of glibness, mediocrity, and a touch of apathy--in other words, a politician. But Judson's character remains unchanged by the election, and his condemnation of adults at the climax rings hollow, offering no clarion call to rally his generation. The easy ending serves to highlight the book's main flaw of trading silly jokes and lukewarm repartee for biting commentary and resonant moments. Rather than allowing Judson to emerge a leader, Gutman settles the American public with just one more class clown. (Fiction. 9-13) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 November #2
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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 1996 November
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

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