Of Thee I sing, by Barack Obama

Published May 30, 2013 by Dagmar

of theeI find this book incredibly inspiring.  Many thanks to Amelie’s Bookshelf for the recommendation.  I went out and bought it and used it for my final week of library classes.  I read it to students in grades 1-5.

President Obama’s book is a letter to his daughters about the people that made our country wonderful.  He starts, by saying, “Have I told you that you’re creative?” and then talks about Georgia O’Keefe.  Each page, he talks about a quality exemplified by the person he highlights, including Helen Keller, Cesar Chavez, Neil Armstrong, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jane Addams, Abraham Lincoln, Maya Lin, Sitting Bull and others.  Some people, like Georgia O’Keefe, Maya Lin, Jane Addams and Helen Keller were less familiar to my students.  It was nice to have the opportunity to talk about these amazing people and the importance of their work.  Most importantly, President Obama finishes the book by saying that America is full of people of all different races, religions and ideas.

This book is a beautiful, touching book.  It’s especially great to share.  The illustrations by Loren Long are wonderful.  My students quietly while I read the book to them (good quiet, not bored quiet).  Afterward, we went from student to student and talked about which person or people inspired them the most.  I loved hearing students talk about the people that inspired them, particularly when they mentioned people they’d first learned about in the book.

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