Yes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama – Garen Thomas

versity in the classroom than we ever were. They may have even read “Yes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama,” Garen Thomas’ nonfiction account of the president-elect’s life, geared toward children too young to vote, but old enough to care.

Released before the election and not authorized by the Obama campaign (although it certainly sides with it, as Thomas makes clear in a moving, practical introduction), the book follows our nation’s next leader from baby to boy to man, ending with his official intent to pursue the White House. Therefore, it’s absent of the real drama of the campaign trial, primaries, debates and tiffs, not to mention one historic victory.

Instead, you get a rather humanizing, matter-of-fact look at the person, rather than the politician, supplemented with several snapshots through the years. For example, it’s amusing (not to mention telling) to see Obama going by “Barry” in his high school yearbook photo, just as it is to hear details of his and wife Michelle’s first date, which amounted to having chocolate ice cream at Baskin-Robbins.

 Adults can glean as much from this bio as tweens and teens. “Yes We Can” isn’t going to be a mind-changer for supporters of the McCain/Palin ticket, but it likely will serve as reassurance for those whose minds were, and are, still open.

“”Rod Lott


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