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White House Kids    by Joe Rhatigan & Jeff Albrecht Studios order for
White House Kids
by Joe Rhatigan
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Not every president raised his family in the White House, but the children who were lucky enough to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue did dwell in a very special place.

Even though there's lots of space so having one's own room isn't an issue and there are some pretty special perks like a bowling alley in the basement, chefs always available and even folks to assist with homework, living in the White House for a child isn't necessary a cool situation.

You are continually in the spotlight, there's that pesky Secret Service agent always following you, and being on your best behavior is a necessity so you don't embarrass your dad.

Filled with photos and illustrations of the First Families' children, this fun volume has information and stories about presidential children and grandchildren. You'll discover where these youngsters went to school, what mischief they sometimes caused, and what happened when the children invited their friends over to the house.

The only presidents to not have any child living in the White House were James Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, William McKinley, and Warren Harding. George Washington, James Madison, and Andrew Jackson had no children of their own but they raised their nieces, nephews and wives' children or grandchildren while serving as president.

The first child born in the White House was James Madison Randolph in 1806. He was the son of Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph.

The first child of a president under the age of nineteen to live in the White House was Maria Hester Monroe. She was fourteen when her father became president in 1817.

Amy Carter loved roller skating, playing with her thirty-nine teddy bears and bowling when she was the First Daughter. Chelsea Clinton's parents often would fly her friends from Arkansas into Washington for sleepovers. Susan Ford held her class senior prom in the East Room of the White House.

With first-hand accounts from letters and interviews, humorous anecdotes, and unusual tidbits about the White House and those who once called it home, this is a very entertaining book. There's even an And Then What Happened? section in the appendix that tells a little bit about what happened to the presidential children after their families left the White House.

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