Title: So You Want to Be President?

Author: Judith St. George and David Small

Publication Date: 2000

Publisher: Philomel Books

Price: $17.99

Number of Pages: 52

Awards: Caldecott Medal

Genre/Subgenre: Picture book, Biography

Popularity: 5/5
Quality: 5/5

Reader’s Annotation:

There are many different ways to be the President.


So You Want to Be President? tells the stories of America’s past presidents through fun facts and anecdotes. The book starts with the good and bad things about being president, such as getting to live in the White House (good) and never getting to be alone (bad). The book then goes on to compare and contrast past presidents: their names, where they grew up, whether they went to college, what kinds of personalities they had, what they looked like, their talents and hobbies. The book ends by saying that each President took the same oath to enter office and that each tried to fulfill that oath in their own way and that if you want to be President, you should model yourself after the best presidents.


This was such an enjoyable read! The authors have a very funny style that makes the presidents seem very normal and relatable. The book is full of fun facts that are sure to intrigue any history lover. I think this book is a great way to teach children about the presidency and our past leaders.

Why I Chose the Book:

I recently completed an assignment on presidential biographies for another class, and this was a book that I came across in my research. I wasn’t able to use it for my other project but really wanted to read it.


Lives of the Presidents by Kathleen Krull

Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport

So You Want to Be an Inventor? by Judith St. George

Book Talk Ideas

Have a Presidents Party: ask each student or patron to dress up as their favorite president and let them try to guess who each other are using details from So You Want to Be President?.

Discussion Questions

1. In So You Want to Be President?, the authors show that people with really different qualities can all be president. What do you think is the most important quality in a president?

2. The story has lots of interesting facts about the different presidents. Did any of them surprise you? Did you have a favorite fact?


Goodreads (2014). So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/96125.So_You_Want_to_Be_President_?ac=1

“So You Want to Be President?” NovelList K-8. EBSCO, 01 Jan. 2001. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.sjlibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=njh&tg=UI&an=099116&site=novpk8-live&gt;.

St. George, J. & Small, D. (2000). So You Want to Be President?. Philomel Books: New York.