Summer Reading Series: Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote


The economy, job growth, health care, contraception, and foreign policy don’t mean much to first and second graders. However, give them the chance to vote on whether or not they can run in school hallways, eat ice cream sandwiches for lunch or take a field trip to the circus, and all of a sudden, learning about elections, voting, and democracy is cool, yo.

Score another win for Amelia Bedelia.

The pint-sized politico channels her inner activist in Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote.

If you are looking for a light summer story that’s heavy on humor and will surely help prevent seasonal brain drain, place this vibrant book at the top of your kid’s must-read list.

Herman Parish outdoes himself in this comical caper that finds a young Amelia Bedelia literally running into an opportunity, which allows her to revamp school rules, via a one-of-a-kind election.

Our literal-minded heroine leads the charge in coming up with ways to make the school day more tolerable. In the end, Amelia and her classmates vote on the following kid-centric ideas:

*Ice cream sandwiches for lunch

*Grow berries in the school garden

*Homework-free Wednesdays

*Kids read morning announcements

*Class trip to the circus

*Bring stuffed animals to school

*Fish tank in every room

*Stoplights at hall intersections

I won’t spoil the election results, but I will tell you that your child will learn more from Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote than just simple ballot casting. Rather, an unexpected plot twist teaches young readers about absentee ballots, runoffs, and hanging chads.

Okay, not hanging chads.

Actually, your child won’t be left hanging at all. The book’s hilarious ending stays true to Amelia Bedelia’s literal roots with a fitting “tie”-in to more idioms and homonyms than should be legal in a single story.

If you are looking to introduce your youngster to the democratic process before Election Day rolls around, Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote is an excellent place to start.

You can preview the book at or purchase it at discount retailers nationwide.

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Amelia Bedelia’s First Field Trip

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.