A middle-grade retelling of Richard Nixon's downfall, Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal is an inventive and timely look at one of the biggest scandals to ever rock our nation by Andrea Balis and Elizabeth Levy, featuring graphic novel style illustrations by Tim Foley.
Comprised almost completely of primary source quotes (good thing Nixon's recorder was on) and interspersed with contextual narrative, this captivating account of the trials and tribulations of the Nixon Administration has been rendered screenplay style offering an extraordinarily immediate narrative of one of America's most turbulent eras.--from the publisher
240 pages 978-1250176790 Ages 10-14
Keywords: president, American history, information, non fiction, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old, politics, crime, government, Social Studies Curriculum
Using direct quotes from wide variety of participants in the Watergate scandal and investigation, this book provides "Fly on the Wall" commentary on the events that happened from 1972 to 1974, with some additional back history about some of the people involved as well. I had never realized what a comedy of errors the whole thing was-- breaking into the Watergate, covering things up, bribing people right and left. Wow. There is a marvelous illustration of some of the men who tried to hide out in a closet and got locked in that made me snort with laughter, especially since it has a real Mad Magazine vibe to the line drawing.
This book does a great job at laying out events and explaining why things happened the way they did. The tone is very matter-of-fact, which could not have been an easy thing to do. My goodness. G. Gordon Liddy. He would have been fast friends with some current political figures today, I think! Oddly, most of the people come out looking fairly sympathetic as well; they had jobs to do for reasons that seemed like a good idea at the time, given the political environment. It seemed almost completely ludicrous, until I started trying to write a timeline of current political events in my mind.
Do I understand the Watergate Scandal better now? Yes, temporarily. Like the bank failures of 1929, I suspect that I won't hold onto this understanding for long, but this was a fantastic book. I'll definitely be purchasing it-- it has enough information for research, but its short length and plentiful illustrations will make it easier for students to pick up for pleasure as well. Language arts teachers will appreciate the innovative style and ample use of primary source quotes.
Recommended by; Karen Yingling, Librarian, Ohio USA
See more of her recommendations: msyinglingreads.blogspot.com