Title: Kid President Totally Rules
Author: Jack Heath
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 1st September 2021
Synopsis: Jaxxon has accidentally been elected to rule as the first ever KID PRESIDENT. He has big ideas: free ice-cream in every school, homework to be made illegal, and all national parks to become skate parks.
But not everyone is happy about the new changes. And they are willing to do just about anything to kick him out of office. Can Jaxxon keep his presidency and show everyone he totally rules?
If you like David Walliams’ books, you’ll love Kid President Totally Rules. What happens if a kid becomes president? Find out as Jaxxon is sworn in and starts issuing the types of ‘royal decrees’ every kid dreams of. A second stand-alone comedy from award-winning Australian author, Jack Heath. A lengthier story for slightly older readers, aged 9 and over. Packed full of uproarious illustrations and funny design elements to break up the text, making it an accessible read for all levels.
Jaxxon Mauriz is sitting in class, bored, when agents burst into class, tackle his teacher, and whisk him away to the presidential residence pf Buttock following an election – he’s now the president, as the current president, Jackson Morris – spelt his name incorrectly on the ballot, and now Jaxxon is president. Yet even as Jaxxon tries to embrace this new power, with an unusual offer from classmate Tiara, there are those that wish to see Jaxxon fail – and hope that everyone will turn on him. But will Jaxxon make some of his royal decrees work for Buttock, and how? And which ones will result in him learning lessons about ruling a country?
Jack Heath’s second stand-alone novel for middle grade readers is just as fun as his first, with the same whimsy and humour, but this time, a kid is president – something many kids dream of or imagine what it would be like if they were in a position of power and what they would do – and ultimately, what might happen if kids could vote, who would they vote for and how would that change things.
This highly entertaining and accessible story is wildly out there but gives kids an outlet in this difficult pandemic world, where they can use the outrageously funny and bizarre world to escape the doldrums of lockdown and isolation. Older readers will also find this a refreshing escape from everything we are going through right now, and as a reader, even though I am reading widely and delving into some of the heavier stuff, I am finding the lighter, and gentler books like kids’ books better for mental health – and I guess that they don’t mention COVID as much, if ever, as some of the new release adult books have. Which is another reason I liked this book – it’s in a fictional world, a previous state of Australia I’m guessing, where COVID doesn’t exist, and this allows kids and readers to take time out and revel in a world of pure chaos and joy that is unlike any we may ever see.
The combination of illustrations and text makes it accessible for many reading levels and abilities, ensuring that it could be one of those books that allows for a good proportion of class participation and ability to understand the text on different levels. This is the joy of texts like this – they can potentially reach and entertain such a wide, broad audience that it makes them perfect for a variety of educational and literacy-based lessons that will help many readers.
Entertaining books can have a very far-fetched idea but it is what the author does with the idea that makes it work, and Jack Heath has made this idea of a kid president work so well, I think that having read this, we can see what it might be like if a kid ruled a country, albeit in a rather chaotic way, and what might come from something like this.