MotherCountry 2016: New children’s book inspires the next generation of politicians

If you are the parent of a 4 to 8 year-old girl, perhaps you have been challenged this election season to find meaningful and appropriate ways to expose your child to the democratic process. After all, elections are an essential cornerstone of our democracy; so what’s a civic-minded mom to do?

Enter the children’s book, Sadie McGrady runs for President, by Mary Parry, a story that allows young readers to experience the campaign trail and elected office through the eyes of a girl who runs for President. Parry says, “While not all kids dream of becoming President of the United States, [this book] is about inspiring leadership, building skills and exploring ideas for how readers can take action and make a difference. Leadership practice can happen on the playground, on a playdate with a friend, and in the classroom.”

Those larger life skills are applied to civic engagement as Sadie tackles the elements essential to any successful campaign: mustering the courage; building a team; creating messages and campaign materials; addressing the issues; taking on an opponent; and getting out the vote. The fun and exciting aspects of campaigning are highlighted, like making yard signs, marching in parades, and debating an opponent. Written in verse and accompanied by spirited photographs, Sadie McGrady blazes a trail for those who aspire to be leaders someday.

Author Mary Parry is an advocate for women and girls who has worked as an experienced leader in the political process in North Carolina, including as a local women’s vote director during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. After her own daughter’s run for class president Ms. Parry was inspired to write a children’s book that encourages and empowers girls to get involved in leadership and in politics, although these lessons are not necessarily gender-specific. Parry notes,” I hope that boys and girls alike will read about Sadie’s journey on the campaign trail . . . taking away encouragement and excitement about their own involvement in the political process.”

Cast your vote for reading and civic literacy this weekend: Mary Parry and Sadie McGrady will be making a “campaign stop” at Park Road Books on Saturday, October 8th from 11-12:30 pm.