Voting For A Book

Following schoolyard arguments last year between young Clinton and Obama supporters, a teacher at Ebert Elementary School in Denver chose to teach the election by using books as candidates. Primaries will be held and a book president elected.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

The Democratic Convention was not the only political drama in Denver this week. After schoolyard arguments last year between young Clinton and Obama supporters, a teacher at Ebert Elementary School chose to teach the election in a new way. He realized that kids react to books much as they react to their favorite candidates. They like them because everyone else does, adding titles to their favorite lists even when they haven't read them. Out of that idea came an unusual concept. Youth Radio sent us this audio postcard.

Ms. BRIDGETTE GALADY(ph) (Student): This is Bridgette Galady reporting from Denver, Colorado at Ebert Elementary from Greg Isaac's first-grade class. Our having is having a book election during the Democratic National Convention. Our book election is an election where we stand behind our favorite book instead of our favorite candidate. And let's go meet some of my friends.

First, we'll go to the "Eggs" group. It's a book by Jerry Spinelli. Hey, Craig(ph), could you tell me what "Eggs" is about?

CRAIG (Student): Really, it's just about a boy who goes on an adventure with a girl who can turn dead and alive.

Ms. GALADY: Hey, Demetrius, do you have anything to say?

DEMETRIUS (Student): No, not much. But I just want to say that's the biggest group and that's all.

Ms. GALADY: Now, let's go to the next group. This is "Warriors." "Warriors" is one of the smallest groups. It only has four people. And I'll let my friend, Hieren(ph), explain to you a little bit more about our book.

HIEREN (Student): Hi. "Warriors" is - I think it's a really great book, and it's filled with action and adventure and it has lots of battles.

Ms. GALADY: Now, maybe we should talk to my friend Jake to tell us what it's like to be in one of the smaller groups and how we're going to maybe get people onto our team.

JAKE (Student): I don't know how we're going to do this because I think that - I haven't read the book yet, any of the books, so - I mean, I have sort of an idea from Anna about what the book is about and...

Ms. GALADY: Is it hard to be in a group that you barely even know anything about the book? And why are you even in this group if you barely even know anything about the book?

JAKE: I don't know. I mean, there's lot of different reasons I think I joined and I just can't explain them.

Ms. GALADY: Now, we're going to talk to my friend Riley. She's an undecided, but let's see what she has to say.

RILEY: Well, me and Annie - her - we were just going to make a group for a book called "I, Cory."

ANNIE: Coriander.

RILEY: So yeah, pretty much.

Ms. GALADY: Okay. There are two other groups, but there's no one here that we can really talk to about them. And the other two books are "Harry Potter" and "Frindel."

Now that you've met all the groups, I'll tell you a little bit about what we're doing. In the next week or two, we'll have some primaries and that sort of stuff. And in the next, probably in the most, a month, the fourth grade will decide on the fourth-grade president, book president.

I'm signing off. We're going on to our next period. Bridgette Galady here. Bye.

ROBERT SIEGEL: Bridgette's story was produced by Youth Radio.

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