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Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought)
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Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought)

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Every U.S. president is the focus of public scrutiny, but how well do we know these men? What kind of fathers do presidents make? Husbands? Neighbors? Other books focus on the historical achievements of those who have occupied our country's highest office; Lives of the Presidents looks instead at their bad habits, silly nicknames, and strange pets. Every president--from Ge ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1998)
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Melissa Hazelbaker
I have the updated version of this book in my classroom library, but have never read the whole thing. I find facts and bits of information and use in my lessons during Presidents Day. The book is very long, but has lots of information of all our presidents, including Obama. The illustrations are done in a "character-y" way. Such as Obama is wearing a lei, while holding his favorite books and dunking a basketball on a hoop with the word "Hope" written on the back. It talks about the good, the bad ...more
Burbank Library Children's Department
Kathleen Krull is a master at nonfiction for kids and her Lives of... series is not to be missed.
Sara
For what it is, this was entertaining and gives a middle school-level intro to every President from Washington through Clinton. I listened to it on audio, but even so there were a few grammar issues that stood out (one that made it sound like a President greeted people by barking, not his dog). While a lot of information is given about recent Presidents and more well-known ones, many of the more obscure Presidents were only given a few sentences.

Overall, though, the information presented is goo
...more
Don Weidinger
Jefferson7, Dolly snuff, Quincy river swims, Jackson adoptions, Tyler 8+7 children, Lincoln 1 year formal ed humor, Johnson senator after, Grant not a hunter 20 cigars day, TR laughter, Taft supreme court, Wilson more segregation sick for month, Harding kkk affairs, Hoover left Shangrila, fdr smoke affairs 6 children resulted in 19 marriages, Truman reader, Eisenhower demerits to camp david, jfk short leg salary to scouts, lbj pride nude pool swimming potus, Nixon chew as cud taped crep, Ford sh ...more
Laura
What were the presidents really like? Kathleen Krull explores their character traits and unusual characteristics. The most popular presidents have stories that cover several pages and describe both common and less well known information about our nation's leaders. Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, and Polk all share a single page. The information is, to my knowledge, accurate and clearly written. Students who enjoy knowing more about the personalities of our leaders will be interested in learning abou ...more
Toneeshia
Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame, and What the Neighbors Thought is a biography of different presidents intended for the intermediate aged children. This book takes an intimate look into the lives of the presidents beginning with President George Washington and ending with President Bill Clinton. The purpose of the novel is to show a side of each president you haven't seen before including health and how they had come to meet their wives. The characters are real and the plot is factual as fa ...more
I Heart Corgis
Grade/interest level: 3-7th grade
Lexile level: 1240L
Genre: Biography, nonfiction
Main Characters: The United States Presidents
Setting: The United States
POV: 3rd person

This biographical book about our nation’s presidents goes beyond the politics and fame. It looks at presidents as they really were, human. The book goes through each president one at a time, giving a biography that includes things you would usually hear. It discusses things like how Garfield would greet guests by barking or how Cool
...more
Scott
I listened to the audio book version of Lives of the Presidents.

As with many books aimed at young people the need for a simplicity of language aids the production greatly. It lives without flowery extrapolation (unlike this review) and presents simple but entertaining anecdotal accounts of the American presidents' personal lives, general foibles and marriages.

Given the short length a number of the presidents receive relatively short shrift, particularly those of the mid to late nineteenth centur
...more
Hanna H
Very informal. Lots of information. Did you know that a president once banned broccoli from the White House? Score: Mr. President:1, Broccoli:0! Another random fact- which-you-probaly-don't-care-about-but-I-am-going-to-tell-you-anyway-just-to-annoy-you, is that one of our many presidents, could sew, BUT couldn't read or write until his wife came along, and married him. THEN she taught him how. And this completely random fact just proves that woman back then were a lot smarter than guys!!!! Just ...more
Melanie, Aaron, Annie, and Mary Project
Read by: Mary
Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator: Kathryn Hewitt
Interest Level: 3-7
Grade level Equivalent: 7.5
Lexile Measure: 1240L
Guided Reading: NR

Lives of the President is a book that is about every president of the United States of America. The well known presidents have two to three pages, while the lesser known can have a short paragraph. Along with the vivid pictures, the content can contains some known facts but the majority is lesser known facts about presidents, like different types of
...more
Rory
A decent overview of the presidents of the United States up to Clinton, but best only as an introduction, not a trusted source (i.e., Harry Truman was elected to a first term, not a second term. To get technical, he had FDR's fourth term to go through first.)
Shelli
When it comes to publishing informative interesting presidential books for children Scholastic nails it. This book is filled with many intriguing facts about the men who called the White House home. The character illustrations are adorable and Kathryn Heweitt did a fantastic job of showcasing a bit about each president and their personalities in her drawings. The only negative I would say about this book is how little is mentioned about some of the lesser known or less popular presidents. Those ...more
Michelle Gray
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. A nice addition next time the authors update would be to include the years each President served under the heading with their birth and death dates.
Allison
I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you: http://www.indiebound.org
Justin Hook
just looking for jeopardy fodder
Joni
I happened upon this audiobook on my library's website. I think it's meant for a young audience, but it was fun anyway. There were some really interesting tidbits in there, but I was hoping for something a little meatier. Some of the presidents only had a few sentences dedicated to them! Surely the author could have done better than that. But it was still something fun and educational to listen to on my commute each day, and it gave me an idea of which presidents I'd like to read about some more ...more
Rebecca Reid
At just over 100 pages and geared toward young readers, Lives of the Presidents is just the right length for adult or child alike who is looking for brief sketches of each one of the presidents through history – without the (possibly) boring details. The tone is much like the caricature-like illustrations on the cover would suggest: silly and a little exaggerated.

More (Plus a trivia quiz) on my blog
Matthew
I'd really like to see what she'd make of the past two presidents and the end of Clinton's administration. Krull did a pretty good job of gathering some fun anecdotes, but she seemed to favor certain presidents' stories over others. For instance, she poured it on when it came to Taft and Woodrow Wilson, but then she she finished off Harding with a pretty stern assessment of his presidency and a couple of sentences about his wife possibly having poisoned him.
Anne
It seems like we always want to know what the celebrities are doing – and this includes the presidents. Here is an engaging look at some of the eccentricities of our past and current leaders. Find out who barks like a dog, who had tigers for pets, how many presidents have been assassinated, etc. Updated to include Bush, Clinton, and Obama. Unfortunately, this type of book will always be fairly quickly out of date. Can be read cover to cover or just randomly.
Danie P.
I think that this isn't the most up to date. The edition I read included Barack Obama. Nonetheless this is an excellent explanation of the Presidents lives, who supported slavery, who like to have polka parties in the White House and more secrets that you don't usually find in the run of the mill president books.

Great for anyone of any age who wants a simple, but very interesting, primer on the presidents of the United States.
Goose
What a fun book about presidents for people of all ages. Longer portions are doled out to the most famous, popular, and most recent presidents, so if you are a Martin Van Buren or Warren Harding fan you might feel cheated. Still this breezy, gossipy, and informative tome is well worth the price for any library, school library, or presidential admirer.
Ami
I quite enjoyed this picture book that gives a brief summary of each of our American presidents. Everything felt fairly balanced as the authors point out embarrassing and unique tidbits on each man. While the information is on the sparse side, this is a great place to start as children begin learning about their U.S. history.
Chris
I gave this two stars, because I thought the author could have written more. For instance, Herbert Hoover, only received one paragraph. Also, the book was very short in length. I realize the author was trying to find different qualities of each man, but several of the presidents only had a few sentences.
Lynn
Really good book about the presidents' personal lives, especially in the White House. Written for grades 4-8 and really interesting. I loved every minute of reading it. It was published in 2001 so it only goes through Bill Clinton but still, a great resource on the presidents covered. Wonderful.
Sherry Nan
Fun, fast read - think an hour or two. Good to pass time and gather fun facts about our presidents. And surprising to learn how quirky they were/are. Does this answer the question, why on earth does anyone want to be president?
Maureen
A great classroom resource, especially during the current election year. Funny yet informative anecdotal stories expose the foibles and eccentricities of the American heads of state. Good for daily read aloud.
Dawn
Short book about each of the presidents through Clinton. This is very light and does not focus on anything political or negative. It talks about their physical characteristics, their quirks and their family.
Alice
I read this on the way down to DC to try to learn a little more about our Nation's presidents. It was really cute and interesting. It's written for older kids, but I think anyone could enjoy it.
Ms. B
Oh joy, Lives of the Presidents has been updated! George W. Bush and Barack Obama are included along with all the other presidents from the previous version.
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