My big plan for the library this month is a book election to coincide with the presidential election. It gives me a chance to talk about voting with the kids, and it also lets them tell me what books they love. That will help me put together a book order at some point soon. I’m doing this election with all the classes, from pre-k through 5th.

This week for pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade I’m reading Duck for President and talking to them a little bit about the upcoming presidential election. They’re really too little to go into much detail, but they think the story is hysterical and they understand the general idea of voting. I’m pre-selecting the “nominees” for these 3 grades and reading them aloud over the next couple of weeks. Halloween week I’ll give them a picture ballot with all the books they can choose from, and they’ll get to circle their pick. I lost a week off my original timeframe for this, so I’m also reading the first selection for each grade with them this week.

For second and third grade, I’m reading If I Were President by Catherine Stier. It’s fairly grade appropriate and tells all the kids the cool stuff they could do if they were president. They love the idea of a bowling alley in the White House and having their pictures on money. They’re nominating their own books, no read alouds for them. So I’m giving them all nomination ballots this week, and they write down any one book or series as their choice.

Fourth and fifth grade don’t get a story, but I’ve been talking to them about the general election process and the idea of “primaries.” They are also nominating books like the second and third grade. The 2nd through 5th grade classes will all nominate books this week, then I’m taking the 4 books from each grade with the most votes and putting them on a special ballot. Next week they’ll all vote for 2 finalists out of the 4 semifinalists, I’m calling this a “primary” with 4th and 5th grade. I’m going to ask kids from each class who support the different books to say a few words about why they think their book should be the winner for their grade. Maybe even a little debate, if it doesn’t get too heated.

Halloween week all the kids will vote for finalist books, the pre-k through 1st picking off a picture ballot of books I read to them and 2nd through 5th voting for 1 of the 2 books left standing for their grade. I’ll announce the winners on Election Day and put them on a special display in the library. If we don’t already own the books, I will buy them for the library’s collection.