Friday, January 16, 2009

Road to the White House

With the Obama Inauguration just a few days from today, I thought it was perfect timing to mention the great book series written by Mitali Perkins, called First Daughter. In the first book, Extreme American Makeover, Sameera Righton, the only daughter of Republican Presidential candidate, James Righton, is asked by her father's campaign staff, to reinvent herself.

Actually, she's being reinvented by them no matter how she feels about it. With the new clothes, make-up, hair styles and even a new blog written by a paid ghost-writer, her new All-American image is supposed to help boost her father's image despite the fact that Sparrow (as her family refers to her) is asked to subtly remove her true identity from the campaign.

Luckily, Sparrow has her own blog and even though it's only read by a few dozen inside her inner circle, it provides her with great freedom and a chance to express herself and get the love and support she needs to deal with a media campaign that's testing her and her family on a daily basis.

Sparrow is like most 17-year-olds, which is what made this story so realistic and her voice so appealing. No, most teenagers you know were probably not born in Pakistan, or adopted or have parents in the political forefront. But what does hold true is that both Sparrow and others around that age do a lot of soul searching to find their own voice that is both genuine and confident, holding on to the values, culture and beliefs that make them so unique.

Many young people, whether they're in front of the camera or not, go through a sort of crisis of identity, somewhere between being a child and becoming an adult. These 'tween years can be a challenge to everyone, parent and child.

This book is recommended for anyone dealing with someone at this stage (parent, 'tween, or teacher) since it is a wonderfully written, insightful story that deals with friendship, first crushes, politics, culture, religion, family and remaining true to oneself, despite the outside forces that tend to influence us.

The second book in the series, White House Rules, marks the beginning of Sparrow's life as a First Daughter. Will she be able to maintain her identity and her friendships as life as the President's Daughter keeps her pampered, protected and living a fairy tale lifestyle? She may need a disguise to help her survive the next four years.

Luckily, Malia and Sasha Obama are young enough to enjoy the pleasures of childhood as they move into the White House and start their new life in Washington D.C. I look forward to seeing the First Daughters grow up and find their own voices. I may even start to search for blogs written by them from behind the scenes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent review. I'm adding to this to my to-read list on GoodReads.