Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope


Introduction and Summary
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
a New York Times bestseller written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier is a glimps of the life of the 44th president of the United States.  This childrens book is based on Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams From My FatherThe story is told by a mother who is trying to explain what her young son David, is seeing on the television.  David’s mother explains the path that a young Barack Obama “Barry” took to get to where he is today. There is a strong message of how hope deep inside of Barack persevered and that is how he became president. The story does a great job of explaining the different places that he lived and the many cultures that surrounded him. It explains how he was not sure of who he was because he didn’t look like his black father or his white mother, and how this difference could be a bridge for the future. With the election of a any president history is made. With Barack Obama as president there is also a great significance because he is the first African American to become president.

Curriculum Connections
This story can be used for several different lessons. It could be used as part of the studies of the presidents and during black history month. There is a great time-line of the important dates that have shaped Barack Obama. Students can draw out this time-line or use this as a guide to draw their own time-lines.  This book could be incorporated into K.1,K.9, 1.10c, 1.12c, 3.12 SOLs

Additional Resources

  • Student’s can learn more about the 44th president of the United States of America along with other fun facts about the White House.
  • Your students can search the official kids portal to the U.S. Government at Kids.gov.

General Information

  • Book: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
  • Author: Nikki Grimes
  • Illustrator: Bryan Collier
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Publication Date: August 2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Grade Range: K- 5
  • ISBN: 1416971440
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