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Who Was Ronald Reagan?

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From his childhood in rural Illinois to moviemaking days in Hollywood and on to a career in politics that took him all the way to the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan kept an abiding faith in America and in what our country stood for. The oldest president ever, he survived a near-fatal assassination attempt and lived to be 93. Who Was Ronald Reagan? covers his life and times in From his childhood in rural Illinois to moviemaking days in Hollywood and on to a career in politics that took him all the way to the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan kept an abiding faith in America and in what our country stood for. The oldest president ever, he survived a near-fatal assassination attempt and lived to be 93. Who Was Ronald Reagan? covers his life and times in a balanced, entertaining way for children. More than 100 black-and-white illustrations fill out the portrait of our fortieth president.


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From his childhood in rural Illinois to moviemaking days in Hollywood and on to a career in politics that took him all the way to the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan kept an abiding faith in America and in what our country stood for. The oldest president ever, he survived a near-fatal assassination attempt and lived to be 93. Who Was Ronald Reagan? covers his life and times in From his childhood in rural Illinois to moviemaking days in Hollywood and on to a career in politics that took him all the way to the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan kept an abiding faith in America and in what our country stood for. The oldest president ever, he survived a near-fatal assassination attempt and lived to be 93. Who Was Ronald Reagan? covers his life and times in a balanced, entertaining way for children. More than 100 black-and-white illustrations fill out the portrait of our fortieth president.

30 review for Who Was Ronald Reagan?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Alfaro

    Are you ready for the most honest and serious review on a kids book ever? Ok, here we go. One could be forgiven for giving this book four stars. It is informative and easy to read. It gets kids interested in politics. Reading this, one would have the impression that Ronald Reagan was: -a hero who saved lives as a lifeguard -a strong and handsome football player and Hollywood actor -a man who made flight training videos for bomber pilots -a loving husband -a man who gentlemanly appointed the first Are you ready for the most honest and serious review on a kids’ book ever? Ok, here we go. One could be forgiven for giving this book four stars. It is informative and easy to read. It gets kids interested in politics. Reading this, one would have the impression that Ronald Reagan was: -a hero who saved lives as a lifeguard -a strong and handsome football player and Hollywood actor -a man who made flight training videos for bomber pilots -a loving husband -a man who gentlemanly appointed the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor -a man who gave up on cutting school lunches for children -a man who fired air traffic controllers because they were asking for “a substantial raise” -a man who nobly led an effort to defend AMERICA (Trumpian CAPS) from nuclear missile threats (SDI) -a man who was a leader of the good guys (Capitalism) against the evil guys (Communists) -a man who bravely fought Communist expansion in Central America -a hero who tore down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War almost singlehandedly -and more of the same... Now, as adults, let’s look at some things not mentioned in this kids’ book. “In 1981, as part of an attempt to curtail government waste, the Reagan Administration slashed Federal school lunch spending by $1.5 billion and attempted to make up for the reduced budget by shrinking lunch portions, reducing the number of poor children eligible for free or reduced-lunch, and famously declaring that ketchup was a vegetable in order to meet nutrition standards.”—Emelyn Rude—TIME Paraphrasing from the late Prof. Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: -Reagan and HW Bush appointed enough right-wing judges to transform the Supreme Court -William Rehnquist was made Chief Justice and his court “weakened Roe v. Wade, brought back the death penalty, reduced the rights of detainees against police powers, prevented doctors in federally supported family planning clinics from giving women information on abortions, and said that poor people could be forced to pay for public education (education was not a “fundamental right”).” -Reagan proposed a “voluntary” approach for business to decide whether or not to comply to environmental standards. -He appointed as head of OSHA a businessman who was against its aims. -Reagan made a 90% cut in research into renewable energy possibilities. -The popular Sandanista movement was a coalition of Marxists and left-wing priests. That is not the same as “communism”. They wanted to “give more land to the peasants” and “spread education and healthcare among the poor.” However, the Reagan administration saw this as a “Communist” threat, and a challenge to US control over governments in Central America. -Edgar Chamorro who was a former colonel with the contras said, “I had hoped that it would be an organization of Nicaraguans...[It] turned out to be an instrument of the U.S. government...” -About the Grenada invasion, “Both Cuba and Grenada...sent urgent messages promising that American students were safe and urging the invasion not to occur...No official has produced firm evidence that the Americans were being mistreated or that they would not be able to leave if they wanted.” -“over 16 million Americans lost medical insurance” and “the infant death rate began to rise in 1981.” And many many more examples of how Reagan was NOT the heroic man characterized in this book. Not to mention that he didn’t even fight against Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Don’t expect to get a good understanding of Reagan’s presidency from this book. Don’t think that the truth is too difficult to communicate to children. That kind of thinking is exactly why we are repeating Reagan’s mistakes now. Kids are remarkably smart when given a chance, especially the kinds that would pick up this book in the first place. Everything I mentioned can be simplified for any age. Finally, to tell the truth about someone doesn’t mean to tarnish their image. The person who is a subject of a biography creates their own image and it is a writer’s responsibility not to sugarcoat the truth out of a desire to show respect or politeness. Not only is it morally wrong to conceal from children the truth about history, but it is destructive to future society as well...as we are experiencing now in 2019. If only we had better educated the kids of the 90’s about Reagan. We have the chance to do so now. I’ll give it two stars only because I did learn about his personal and young life and it was better than “Mein Kampf.” Overall, it’s a piece of pro-Reagan propaganda for children to remember him as a hero.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    This book was a really good book it interedsted me in a lot of parts in the book but not all some of the info in here was just interesting not important details. So I gave 4 STARS!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Who was Ronald Reagan by Joyce Milton is a really great book to read. I had such a amazing time reading this book. It has so much amazing facts about his life and what he did while he wasn't president. There are so much fun stuff that he did during his lifetime that I would've never imagined him doing. I mean I would've never expected him to start acting. But I would really recommend this book to readers that love to read about peoples biography and about people in their past. Which I love to Who was Ronald Reagan by Joyce Milton is a really great book to read. I had such a amazing time reading this book. It has so much amazing facts about his life and what he did while he wasn't president. There are so much fun stuff that he did during his lifetime that I would've never imagined him doing. I mean I would've never expected him to start acting. But I would really recommend this book to readers that love to read about peoples biography and about people in their past. Which I love to read about that. So that's what really interested me in picking this book out of my school library.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna Schlesinger

    Biography "Who Was Ronald Reagan?" by Joyce Milton is of course all about Ronald Reagan, but in an unexpected way-- not just about politics. The book starts with Reagan's life as a child and how his personality came about. The book also discusses his career as an actor before he began his career as a politician. While everyone knows that Reagan became President, this book highlights many aspects of his life that are fascinating, but unknown to many people. This book is perfect for having students Biography "Who Was Ronald Reagan?" by Joyce Milton is of course all about Ronald Reagan, but in an unexpected way-- not just about politics. The book starts with Reagan's life as a child and how his personality came about. The book also discusses his career as an actor before he began his career as a politician. While everyone knows that Reagan became President, this book highlights many aspects of his life that are fascinating, but unknown to many people. This book is perfect for having students create their own biographies because it shows how it is important to reference multiple points about a person to make their stories come to life. Along with teaching on biographies, this book could be used in social studies when discussing American government and Presidents. After I finished reading this book, I actually had the words "wow" come out of my mouth; Madison was there to witness it! History has always been one of my favorite topics, so it was interesting to me to be able to read a biography about a major character in history. I did not know much about Reagan before this book, but I found myself intrigued by who he was. One of my favorite things I learned was that Reagan was a lifeguard when he was younger; this was favorable for me because I am currently a lifeguard, so it was neat to see that I have that connection with a former President.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luca Terrasi

    Ronald Reagan Is a president true to every Americans heart, and this book was very interesting. I found myself with a jaw drop for over half of the book! Everything was written simple enough to be understood by most 5th graders, yet the content was new and fresh. This is my favorite book that I have read in the who was/is series. A truly great book on one of the most beloved presidents of the twentieth century.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joey Oborne

    Ronald Reagan was the 40th U.S President of the United States of American. I learned that Reagan was a lifeguard and he saved about over 50 people's lives. Ronald was an actor and he was in over 60 televisions shows.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Nice children's summary of Ronald Reagan's life with a pro-Reagan perspective. It was not too politically charged, though. There were some fun things that I learned about him which were fun.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Monique S. (The Ginger Librarian)

    I love the way the books in this series tell the stories of historical and popular figures! As my home country's 40th president, and my first president, Ronald Reagan is one of the most beloved presidents of the 20th century. It is evident in this book (and elsewhere) that from a young age Mr. Reagan put others before himself, and he risked his life on many occasions to save the lives of others. Reagan's presidency reflected his love and compassion for others. I especially loved learning more I love the way the books in this series tell the stories of historical and popular figures! As my home country's 40th president, and my first president, Ronald Reagan is one of the most beloved presidents of the 20th century. It is evident in this book (and elsewhere) that from a young age Mr. Reagan put others before himself, and he risked his life on many occasions to save the lives of others. Reagan's presidency reflected his love and compassion for others. I especially loved learning more about Mr. Reagan's childhood, teenage, and young adult life in this book. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Reagan was before my time but I've heard older people talk about what a "great president" he was. I hoped this book would kind of show me why he was "so amazing," but I didn't really get any major insights from it. Here are some fun things I learned about Reagan: *He was a lifeguard for six summers and saved 77 people. I like that he grew up in the working class, I feel like that does make him a bit more able to relate to the majority of people. (Unlike some other celebrity presidents.) *He was Reagan was before my time but I've heard older people talk about what a "great president" he was. I hoped this book would kind of show me why he was "so amazing," but I didn't really get any major insights from it. Here are some fun things I learned about Reagan: *He was a lifeguard for six summers and saved 77 people. I like that he grew up in the working class, I feel like that does make him a bit more able to relate to the majority of people. (Unlike some other celebrity presidents.) *He was called Dutch until he became a movie star. *A three-ton section of the Berlin wall was sent to Reagan as a thank you gift. I probably need to read an adult bio so I can understand the politics a bit better. From this book I couldn't really see anything he did as a president that was that phenomenal. Then again, I'm really disillusioned with politicians at present so my criticism is very harsh.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Who was Ronald Reagan is a outstanding book it talks about his childhood and his adulthood. Ronald's childhood actually wasn't bad when he was 14 he got a job working at a pool where he was a lifeguard. He was very good at this job and has saved many lives, a cool thing he did was that every time he saved some ones life he carved a divot in a tree stump. When he was around 23 years old he started running for senator. He actually won too, then he started making movies and got recognized all over Who was Ronald Reagan is a outstanding book it talks about his childhood and his adulthood. Ronald's childhood actually wasn't bad when he was 14 he got a job working at a pool where he was a lifeguard. He was very good at this job and has saved many lives, a cool thing he did was that every time he saved some ones life he carved a divot in a tree stump. When he was around 23 years old he started running for senator. He actually won too, then he started making movies and got recognized all over the world. People started to tell him that he should run for president. Finally he mustered up enough courage to run and he won by a landslide! This book is very good and I would recommend it to any one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bella Monea

    The book Who WAs Ronald Reagan? by Joyce Milton was a good non-fiction book about Reagan. This book was mostly about his acting career and what he did during being president of the U.S. . It was a shorter book but got a lot of good facts. I thought this book was good. I liked learning about Ronald Reagan because he is one of the presidents we are going over in history, so it was nice to know more about him. There is nothing about this book that I would change about the way it was written. I The book Who WAs Ronald Reagan? by Joyce Milton was a good non-fiction book about Reagan. This book was mostly about his acting career and what he did during being president of the U.S. . It was a shorter book but got a lot of good facts. I thought this book was good. I liked learning about Ronald Reagan because he is one of the presidents we are going over in history, so it was nice to know more about him. There is nothing about this book that I would change about the way it was written. I suggest this book to people who would like to learn more about a great president we had. And I would suggest it to people who want good information but with an easier book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Spinozza

    Summary: This book explore the life of Ronald Reagan. It is broken into chapters which span from his early years, his college days, what impact he had on politics and even his farewell letter. It includes many drawings throughout each chapter. Review: I like that the book is broken into chapters and the information is sorted which would be useful if doing research. I also like that the back of the book includes a timeline of his life, and a timeline of the world. I do wish that there were some Summary: This book explore the life of Ronald Reagan. It is broken into chapters which span from his early years, his college days, what impact he had on politics and even his farewell letter. It includes many drawings throughout each chapter. Review: I like that the book is broken into chapters and the information is sorted which would be useful if doing research. I also like that the back of the book includes a timeline of his life, and a timeline of the world. I do wish that there were some real photographs Mentor Text: Writing non-fiction texts or autobiographies Books I would pair this with: Who Was Walt Disney and other books from the series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yoric

    This man had an eventful youth. I always considered that doing as many different things when you're young will be an asset for all your life. The funny fact is he got elected president in school, sport, theatre and the many activities he tried, like a premonition. He also was quite popular. He didn't have an easy start. His family was poor. He had to use his imagination to make his way through. So many ingredients to go to success.

  14. 4 out of 5

    AMY

    106 pages. Great biography with lots of personal stories of a famous American president. I learned a lot about Pres. Reagan that I had never heard before. I think the author gives a very well-balanced view and lots of detail. Students could use this one for a report or just for biography reading. Highly recommended for grades 4-5.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jackson B

    I liked this book more than I thought I would, I really liked learning that he was an actor. My favorite part was when Ronald told the American people that he had Alzheimer's and said goodbye to them. I didn't like the part where he died or the part where he was divorced. I'm very glad that Ronald Reagan found love again and had two more children and that he served the country well. I didn't know he had a horse ranch and that gave me a whole new understanding of the book. I didn't mind the fact I liked this book more than I thought I would, I really liked learning that he was an actor. My favorite part was when Ronald told the American people that he had Alzheimer's and said goodbye to them. I didn't like the part where he died or the part where he was divorced. I'm very glad that Ronald Reagan found love again and had two more children and that he served the country well. I didn't know he had a horse ranch and that gave me a whole new understanding of the book. I didn't mind the fact that he was in a million movies but i haven't seen any of his movies so I don't know if he was any good. I would recommend this book to people that like to learn new things and have happy endings.

  16. 5 out of 5

    North Landesman

    Divorce! Air traffic controllers! Iran-Contra

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Lash

    Genre: Biography Target grade: 2-6 This book can be use as entertainment but can also be used for research for a lower reading level.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karol

    A well written biography directed at the elementary age reader. The author shares key facts and Ronald Reagan's character and strength.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Holland Dalman

    i want too read it all over again!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin Pierce

    Really good little biography on "the gipper".

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joaquin

    Really interesting!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    How can he do that many sports and be in all those clubs and not be utterly exhausted?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Derek Brandon

    I have to edit this later.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trey Branson

    The book was pretty good. It was about the exciting life of Ronald Reagan. The book talked about everything from his childhood, to his job acting, and his time as president.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I learned a lot about this man and his presidency. And I really appreciated how the author took some of the key issues of his time and explained them in layman's terms.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Frew

    Very interesting information about this president. The writer provides accounts from his early years to his death. We read this. for a homeschool lesson.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy M. Patton

    This book is a fairly good overview of our beloved President Ronald Reagan. I read this to my 9 year old son and he enjoyed it but there were definitely parts that he didnt understand. So this is a good book for the younger (still a good overview) and also for the older elementary/ middle school ages as well. I will have my 6th and 7th grader read this book on their own as well. This book is a fairly good overview of our beloved President Ronald Reagan. I read this to my 9 year old son and he enjoyed it but there were definitely parts that he didn’t understand. So this is a good book for the younger (still a good overview) and also for the older elementary/ middle school ages as well. I will have my 6th and 7th grader read this book on their own as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Skye Bee

    Pizza box biography project and presentation

  29. 5 out of 5

    AwesomePerson

    AWESOME! Wish he were still alive though

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ledom

    Who was Ronald Reagan? was an awesome biography that students will definitely want to read while still learning so much about this president. I loved flipping the pages and learning new facts about one of my favorite presidents. I learned so much more about him with different facts and quotes in this book. I would definitely recommend this to other teachers because it is simple yet still filled with an abundant amount of information.I loved reading it and was learning the entire time, just like Who was Ronald Reagan? was an awesome biography that students will definitely want to read while still learning so much about this president. I loved flipping the pages and learning new facts about one of my favorite presidents. I learned so much more about him with different facts and quotes in this book. I would definitely recommend this to other teachers because it is simple yet still filled with an abundant amount of information.I loved reading it and was learning the entire time, just like a student would. I would recommend this book to the younger elementary levels like third and fourth grade. The illustrations are interesting and filled with so much character. The vocabulary can be difficult but that is the best way for students to continue learning. The pictures will make students continue wanting to read more and each page will give them a new incite on this incredible man. The purpose for writing this book was proclaimed very easily through her book because she always had a so-what. The tone of this book is playful but serious which will definitely attract students because they can have fun while still learning a lot. I would use this in the classroom when we were learning about presidents, or around president day, or even on a specific day to honor Ronald Reagan. I would definitely read this aloud so every students could see the pictures and ask questions throughout the book. Our oldest president deserves to be recognized and this book is an awesome way of doing that. I really loved reading this book and I know other teachers would as well!

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