Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Patricia Nixon

Jill C. Wheeler

Patricia Nixon was First Lady of the United Stated from 1969 to 1974, supporting her husband, Richard Nixon during his political career. Although Mrs. Nixon never saw herself as political wife, she believed in helping others and supported the cause of volunteer work. Through her volunteering she was remembered for her work as a First Lady. Mrs. Nixon came from a humble beginning; her dad was a miner until the family moved to a farm in California. The whole family worked the fields, harvesting vegetables that were sold from the back of their pick-up truck. Patricia had many obstacles through her young life, but she persevered and earned her high school degree, even after the death of both of her parents. Determined to go to college, even during the Great Depression, Patricia worked a variety of jobs, one of, which took her to New York City where she graduated with honors in 1937. She returned to California where she met her future husband, Richard Nixon, who was working as a lawyer. They married in June 1940, and he joined the Navy in 1942. They moved many times during his service, where she worked with the American Red Cross. After the war was over in 1945, their first daughter was born, and Richard began his political career. Patricia worked very hard to keep their family life separate from the limelight of politics. In January 1953, Richard became Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Patricia became very involved in official appearances. She enjoyed connecting with Americans, and traveling to other countries acting as a Goodwill Ambassador. The press considered Patricia to be cold and too formal, yet in private, she was charming and fun loving. While being First Lady, Mrs. Nixon traveled to Vietnam, during the war, making her the First Lady to enter a war zone since Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1970 she visited Peru after an earthquake that left thousands homeless and she delivered food, clothing, and medical supplies. For her efforts, she was recognized by the Peruvian government with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun. Despite a desire to stay away from a political limelight, Mrs. Nixon lived a remarkable life, and was true to her desire to help others.

Included is a Timeline, a Did You Know?, a Glossary, and an Index. I recommend this book for home libraries, public and school libraries. It is an excellent reference tool for school projects. This book is not available at the publisher’s web site.

BIBLIO: 2010, ABDO Publishing, Ages Gr 3 - 6, $25.65
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Junior Novels / Reader Series
ISBN: 978-1-60453-632-4

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 1/2510

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