High Hopes: A photographic Biography of John F. Kennedy
Ages 10 and up
National Geographic, 20030-7922-6141-0
If anyone in the Kennedy family was going to be the President of the United States one day that person was not Jack. He was a "messy, late, naughty" boy who was frequently sick and not very studious though he loved to read. His elder brother Joe Jr. was the one who was earmarked for great things by the boy's father Joseph Kennedy.
For the highly competitive Jack, being second best to Joe Jr. hurt and he was always trying to outdo his brother and never quiet succeeding. Frequently, instead of becoming well known for his achievements Jack achieved notoriety for the trouble he got himself into. He felt that since he was not the one who was supposed to be a great success, he could have a little fun with life and this he did. Nevertheless Jack still managed to do quite well in school, to get onto the football, team and to eventually get into Harvard. He also began his writing career when he was still quite young, showing his family that he was a master when it came to putting words on a page.
When Joe Jr. was killed in a plane crash during World War II suddenly Jack became the one who had to step forward and take centre stage. He never really looked back, going from being a Congressman to a Senator and then on to being chosen by the American people to be the President.
For many this wonderful man is best remembered for the way in which he insisted that it was the job of every American to "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Jack set an example by doing a great deal for the poor and oppressed, and creating programs (including the Peace Corps) so that Americans could go out into the world and provide services and help for those in need both at home and abroad.
There is no doubt that when Jack was shot down on that fateful day in Texas the world lost a great man and a much loved leader.
Throughout the book quotes in large type dominate many of the pages. They are the words of Jack, his family, and others, and together they capture the essence of what Jack was like, what was important to him, and what he tried to do in his lifetime. Wonderful large annotated photographs, some of them double page spreads, break up the text which is sympathetically written in a style which is sure to appeal to young people.
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