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03 June 2008 HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: DREAMS TAKING FLIGHT by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Amy June Bates, September 2008, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-4169-7129-0


"In her thirty-five years of public service, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people...and no matter how this primary ends, Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age and for that we are grateful to her."

-- Senator Barack Obama speaking in Iowa, 20 May, 2008


I have a lovely, seventeen-year-old daughter who, in her younger years, we nicknamed Tenacious. I can tell you from experience that, on a day-to-day basis, it can sometimes be a bit challenging to live with such an offspring. But there is no doubt in my mind that, as a general principle, the more tenacity that exists in the world's women, the more safe and sane a planet we all end up with.


"Once there was a girl who wanted to fly. She dreamed of zooming in a spaceship up through the clouds into outer space, learning new things about Earth.

"She wrote to the national space agency to volunteer. But it was 1961, and some paths were still closed to women, such as the job of astronaut."


I'd flown down to Los Angeles on Thursday morning for this year's Book Expo America. While the DNC's Rules Committee was in the midst of meeting in Denver Saturday, hoping to come to an agreement on seating the Florida and Michigan delegations at the upcoming Democratic national convention, I was amidst publisher friends, bookseller friends, librarian friends, a breathtaking assemblage of top authors and illustrators, and millions of new books on display.


"She liked to lead. In high school she was elected vice president of her junior class. But when she ran for president, she lost. One of the boys she ran against said she was 'really stupid if she thought a girl could be elected president.'"


My ongoing obsession with the US presidential campaign which, for me, began three years ago this month -- when I experienced Senator Obama delivering an electrifying keynote address at the American Library Association's annual convention in Chicago -- came roaring back into my consciousness Saturday morning. Amidst those miles of books and friends at Book Expo, I encountered a loose-paged copy of the upcoming picture book, HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: DREAMS TAKING FLIGHT by Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates.


And by some double-whammy quirk of fate, Kathleen Krull stopped by the Simon & Schuster booth and said hi to me as I was sitting on the booth's carpeted floor, totally immersed in her wonderfully moving book about Hillary.


"She decided to apply to law school. A lawyer really could change the world -- or at least the lives of the neediest people, by making laws work for them.

"A professor at one law school told her, 'We don't need any more women.' She chose another school."


Kathleen sounded a mite bit wistful as she noted that she'd been expecting Hillary to have been doing better at this point in the primary season.


But there is quite a silver lining to be found in this situation.


"She gave birth to her own daughter and began whispering encouragement."


There is no doubt that as the presidential campaign moves on from the primary campaign into the general election campaign, there will be a grand assortment of hastily published books on Hillary Rodham Clinton -- both those for children and those for adults -- that will be consigned to bookstore bargain bins and the cheapo tables at the big-box retailers. Had Senator Clinton prevailed in the primaries, these are the books amidst which HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: DREAMS TAKING FLIGHT would have been unfairly lost.


"Bit by bit she sailed up through the clouds. Not afraid to fly, daring to compete, she decided to run for the highest office in the land. Was the land ready? No matter -- she was propelling her way into history. Making a difference.

"Sooner or later, we will have a woman president and it will be because of every girl who has wanted to fly."


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: DREAMS TAKING FLIGHT is the book on the subject of Hillary Rodham Clinton that you want to read now, after the conclusion of the primaries, the book which does not in any sense depend on Hillary's winning to be of tremendous value. It is a story that has me thinking back to my beginning reader days of the mid-1960s, when I would read through the employment offers in Newsday and note the separate job listings (at lower levels of compensation) for women doing the same job as men. It is a story that has me recalling so many of the similarly outrageous examples of sexual discrimination that I learned of through reading Karen Blumental's exceptional book about Title IX, LET ME PLAY.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: DREAMS TAKING FLIGHT is an exciting and inspiring book that I hope to see popping up in libraries and classrooms everywhere so that all of our young people come to know and understand the tenacity of this brilliant, barrier-breaking, American hero.


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com

Moderator, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/




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