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The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents
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The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  195 reviews
An inspiring and informative book for kids about the past and future of America's presidents.

Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine.

When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, the
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  686 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Shaye Miller
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the more creative nonfiction picture books I've ever read. And what an important time to read it -- just as the US is gearing up for another presidential election. The Goodreads synopsis explains: "When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine. When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, there were 10 future presidents already alive in America ...more
Tonja Drecker
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Presidents weren't born as being presidents, and this book slides through all sorts of interesting facts about each president's life before they took office...and demonstrates that any American citizen has the possibility of being elected someday.

This book encourages young readers to dream, and that how it starts out. But right after that, the first president is introduced. Instead of concentrating on each president's accomplishments, this book gives one or two interesting tidbits, but then ment
Ms. B
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Even though the book is already out of date, I enjoyed its unique take on prsenting facts about our presidents. Including the years, 1789, 1841, 1897 and 1961, we learn what future presidents were already born at the time George Washington, William Henry Harrison, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy were inaugurated.
If you're like me and never tire of books about the presidents, you'll enjoy this one.
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This remarkable book takes presidential history and makes it both an exploration throughout time as well as an invitation to see oneself as a potential president. The book begins with George Washington as president and points out that when he was president there were nine future presidents alive with four of them already working at the capital with Washington. Readers will see presidents as children, teens and adults. They will watch them progress to being president, seeing the similarities and ...more
Stephanie Bange
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of picture book that is perfect to use with all ages - adults included.

In 2020, the billion dollar question is: Who will be the next President? Messner doesn't mess around with trying to answer that question. In this timeless book, she stays above politics by surveying trends and coincidences from the past, comparing them so we can look to the future and do the same, because the next 10 Presidents are out there somewhere.

Readers will note that math and coincidence plays a strong
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brief look into the lives of the presidents before they were President of the United States.

Last fall, when I heard about this book, my political-science-loving heart leapt for joy. A picture book that will introduce children to residents of the White House? I was all over it. Then, I saw that Adam Rex was illustrating and I pre-ordered so fast I left char marks on my computer!

My copy arrived today. I’m one of those folks who immediately look under the dust jacket to see if the
Karen Arendt
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is great! Messner chose different years in history and showed where future presidents were at the time- whether it was as a child working on the family farm, serving in Congress or not yet born. The book also shares interesting facts about each president. This is a fun book for browsing but also for seeing connections among presidents.
May 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is nothing more than radical left garbage.
Jillian Heise
Appreciate this unique angle on a book about United States Presidents that humanizes them and also shows kids the potential they have to reach for the highest office in this nation, should they choose to.
M.K. Laffin
Feb 11, 2021 rated it did not like it
This was a very creative book and a good idea. It was also radical left for multiple reasons. The book explained how Jefferson had written the words “all men are created equal” “even though he enslaved hundreds of people on his Virginia plantation”. Wow. They didn’t mention at all that Jefferson also had children with one of his slaves and they were also treated like gold. At that time, it was not understood how evil slavery is. This is what is said about our previous president, Donald Trump: “W ...more
Lara Samuels
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the overall message of the book. I wished for a timeline along the edges of the book to help show case the passage of time. It is my experience that kids can find it challenging to process the passage of time. They think that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln knew each other. The copy I read was an ebook and perhaps this contributed to the need for a timetable since I was turning virtual pages??? I will purchase the book as the overall qualities far outweigh the drawbacks.
I loved the construction of this presidential inventory. The way it reaches to hope in the future raises it above other books of its kind.
Katie Reilley
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author, illustrator and Chronicle Books for sharing an early copy with our #bookexpedition group.

Did you know that right now, today, there could be 10 future presidents alive and doing things like playing basketball, reading a book, making art, writing code, and trying to make the world a better place?

This inspiring and informing picture book explores the roles our nation’s presidents had held before they were elected to the presidency. Readers see the former presidents as kid
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting premise - a presidency by the numbers, if you will. The book took 4 different years in American history and told what all the presidents were doing during that time - if they were in school, or working, or infants. The hope for a brighter future was lovely in this book. Highly recommended.

Quarantine 2020 book
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Next President is an inspiring and informative concept!

***Reread the updated version by listening to the author and illustrator's read aloud version on youtube today.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
4 stars for the concept, illustrations, and overall layout of the book

1 star for author's irrelevant, out-of-context statements on the subject matter

Overall Rating: 2.5 stars

The illustrations are well-done and inviting to the casual observer. The cover caught my eye while I was processing it for the shelf, so I took a few minutes to read it. It's a neat concept; the author takes a certain year in history (i.e., 1789), tells the reader who held presidential office that year and then goes on to li
Love the context and the factual tidbits, the illustrations are amazing and give a great flow to the book.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would have loved this book as a kid! Full of interesting presidential facts! But what makes it unique and different from other presidential history books is the exploration of presidents’ lives before they were actually presidents. For example: what future presidents were alive when JFK was president and what were they doing at the time. May be a little hard to follow for kids, but I thought it was very interesting.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the past one hundred years, humanity has rarely been more humbled. In the midst of this global pandemic, the importance of qualified, focused and unwavering leadership is vitally apparent. Those who lead must succeed.

In the United States the Constitution determines how our government functions. Three branches, legislative, judicial and executive, provide for a separation of powers. Of these three, a new book release focuses on the leader of the executive branch. The Next President: The Unexpe
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an awesome and unique way to look at the presidents of the United States! By following a time line throughout, the author links each and every president to other presidents and gives tidbits of informational on their lives before presidency. While not too in-depth, the info given is sufficient to build a bit of character for each man. The coorelation between the different presidents is fascinating!
Gabrielle Stoller
What I appreciated was how this book is NOT about each president. Rather it is about various presidents living at the same time. It is a bipartisan text (thank goodness!!). It's more about hope--and the future presidents living among us!

I feel the combination of Kate Messner and Adam Rex is a winning one. Kate's writing is thorough and top notch. Adam Rex adds a comedic touch to what could be a terribly dry topic.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting premise. Definitely has an agenda. Some of the typography is difficult to read.
Ok before I get to all the feels I have about this book let's do some saluting about the sheer technical and artistic expertise demonstrated by Adam Rex in these pages. You know how some people are really good at portraiture and expression, while some are great at animals and others can do architecture and vehicles? Let me count this down:

a bucking bronco
a printing press
Lyndon Johnson aged down to about 12 years old and still looking like Lyndon Johnson but also like a 12 year old
wheelchairs and
Ben Truong
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America's Presidents is a children's picture book written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Adam Rex. It explored what the future American President did before they took the highest office of the land.

The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Un
I picked up this one in my feverish consumption of all kid-content on a recent Target trip. The illustrations are nice? There's a grammatical error really early on so perhaps this was rushed to print. I like the idea of highlighting what future presidents were doing at different points in history, because there are future presidents among us right now and I want amazing kids to take history into their own hands! But also some of the specific highlights were kind of unpleasant. There was a little ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a FANTASTIC book. I read this with my 4 and 8 year old daughters, and we had so much fun reading snippets about the presidents and the fun facts about how at least 10 of the future presidents are alive and at different points in their lives while the current president is in office. We learned so much about each of our presidents, and not the normal facts you are usually given. Also done in such a fun way that even my 4 year old was not bored. I give this book 10 stars!!
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
The next president is always in the wings. The intriguing concept of this book is that, had we the ability to see them, the people who will be elected as the next presidents are already in play. I was intrigued to see how the lives of presidents intermingled with those who would succeed them.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read for the Mock Caldecott Awards. This was a fascinating book that offers up some very interesting background on all of our presidents. It's told in a time line so that (for example) when George Washington was elected our first president, nine future presidents were already alive...4 of them already working in our nation's capitol, 2 were practicing law and 3 were just working at growing up. The book ends by stating that it's fun to think about who the next president will be (boy, they have th ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it did not like it


Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book! I've like to read information about the presidents! This one has it! Thanks Kate! ...more
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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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