John F. Kennedy’s Presidency [Presidential Powerhouses series] by Rebecca Rowell [in Booklist]
Although JFK’s tenure was only 1,036 days, his legacy hasn’t tarnished much. In this volume of the Presidential Powerhouses series, Rowell diverges from too many children’s titles that lionize the youngest-ever POTUS to offer a finely balanced biographical overview.
While JFK’s achievements are many – the Cuban Missile Crisis, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the American moonwalk, the Housing Act of 1961 – his failures get attention here, too – Vietnam “problem,” Bay of Pigs, and his slow start on campaign promises for African American equal rights.
Without disputing his mythic appeal, Rowell shows JFK’s human side, from his poor health (including “up to 12 medications a day” while in office) to his family’s tragedies, while still showcasing his “energy, idealism, and inspirational words” that inspired Americans to “hope for a brighter future.”
Readers: Children, Middle Grade