Foreword Reviews

Freshman for President

2008 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, Young Adult Fiction (Children's)

In case you’ve missed the news, Milo J. Wright is running for president! For more information, visit his Website at or call him at 555-8976.\

\If you are interested in having your lawn mowed by J&M Mowing, you can also call the same number. No yard too big or too small.

Most presidential candidates don’t finance their campaigns with a lawn-mowing business, but most of them aren’t fifteen-year-old high school sophomores either. Milo knows that winning the election is unlikely, and he knows that even if he did win, he would be unable to take office because he is twenty years shy of the minimum age required of the occupant of the Oval Office.

Dual frustrations motivate Milo’s decision to run for the highest office in the land. First, Principal Wimmer decides to cancel school elections in favor of a faculty-vetted student senate. Second, Milo overhears two girls discussing him. They misname him Miles and describe him as “the skinny kid who’s always hanging around [more popular kids].” Depressed by his lack of renown, he decides he needs “to do something so people know who I am.”

Not quite realizing how much work running for president will be, Milo and his crew, Eden, Paige, and Jack, develop a platform based on concerns of the under-eighteen crowd, such as the amount of standardized testing to which they are required to submit and keeping the driving age at sixteen. Slowly but surely, Milo gets noticed, and the campaign gains momentum. A local sportswriter interviews Milo because he needs a filler piece, and the article gets picked up by a larger state paper. The campaign runs a blog that invites teens across the country to voice their concerns, helping Milo to firm up his platform. He is invited to appear on Good Morning, America. Teachers from schools all over the country agree to allow their students to participate in an online under-eighteen-only election.

This is Allyson Condie’s fourth book. First Day and Yearbook are aimed at the same young adult audience that Freshman for President will delight. Its timeliness in an election year will make it a great choice for teachers looking for ways to excite their students about the American electoral process. Condie’s restrained narrative keeps the plot linear, subtly nuanced by the mysterious depression of Milo’s older sister, Maura. However, even she is drawn into the campaign. Will Milo be elected President of the United States of America?

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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