President’s Day Review: of THEE I SING by Barack Obama

by Notorious Spinks on 02.21.2011

I remember learning the lyrics to the unofficial American anthem, America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee), as a child.  I’m not sure why I had to remember but I did and when I came across the book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, I started humming the song. Don’t ask me why.  LOL!  But I knew I had to read this book.

As stated in the title, Of Thee I Sing is a letter written by President Barack Obama to his daughters, Malia and Sasha.

It highlights the achievements  of 13 Americans while highlighting their achievements to our country.  Each person is introduced after being asked “Have I told you…”

My favorite is it this one:

Have I told you that you are part of a family?

A man named Abraham Lincoln knew that all of America should work together.  He kept our nation one and promised freedom to enslaved sisters and brothers.  This man of the people, simple and plain, asked more of our country – that we behave as kin.


The other twelve passages that introduce these important people are just as poetic.

The 13 people highlighted in this book are:

  • Jane Addams
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Sitting Bull
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Albert Einstein
  • Billie Holiday
  • Helen Keller
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Maya Lin
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Jackie Robinson
  • George Washington

I also love this book because it touches on the accomplishments of important people of various races and backgrounds.  It reminds us that we should never give up, that we should continue to press on and that hard work yields great fruit but not without sacrifice. I will definitely be adding this to the girl’s book collection.  The illustrations done by Loren Long are so pretty and makes the passages jump out at you due to the clear and concise pictures. I chose to review this book today in celebration of President’s Day because I’m happy.  I remember when I was growing up President’s Day wasn’t celebrated in my house.  I couldn’t relate to any those dudes.  Now all the brown children in America can finally see a face that resembles their own. As a country we’re not where we need to be but if educate our children about diversity and promote books such as this one then I think our kids will be alright.

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