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What Is Politics?

What Is Politics? Why Should we Care? And Other Big Questions

Published: 14 Nov 2019

Hardback, 48 pages

Recommended for age 9+ and 11+

By Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young

Published by Hachette Children's Group

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Politics, in its widest sense, affects us all, every day. What if there were no politics? What would that look like? What does it mean to be political or non-political and what effect do each of these positions have? Aimed at children aged 9 and up, this book is a highly topical look at how politics affects everyone in society. It looks at the whole political spectrum, in countries around the world and examines what politics means in different contexts and situations.

What forms can political action take, and what difference does it make? There are contributions from a range of writers, who, along with the authors, discuss how their ideas of what politics is and can do have been shaped by their life experiences. Readers are encouraged to think for themselves about the issues discussed and decide how or whether they would like to take part in politics at some level.

Tagged politics and social justice

Reviewed by Kiran Satti

What Is Politics? Why Should We Care? And Other Big Questions

Empowering and enlightening. And that’s just for me as a teacher.

This title is part of a series of books that ask the big questions. I have What is Humanism? as part of my collection because it is a brave but conscientiously informative book about something very abstract. The same can be said for this book.

This book makes it very clear how politics is part of our everyday. From large organisations to the smallest of choices, politics is woven into the fabric of our society.

Most of the chapters are questions. I love this. Before you start reading, you have the opportunity to discuss the big ideas – What is politics? Is it possible to have no politics? Insightful questions that lend themselves to in-depth conversations about a profound subject.

Throughout the book, the My Experiences chapters are brilliant. They give the reader a very human – an authentic experience – which makes the abstract concept a lot more relatable.

This book covers a range of threads – social, societal, personal and historical – that all weave into the subject that is politics:

  • Use of language
  • NHS
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Suffragettes
  • Martin Luther King.

This book lends itself to Citizenship and Personal Development. Most suited to junior readers, I think, however, this book could be used from Y2 upwards, to introduce and deepen understanding of how politics flows through everyone’s lives.

This is a very illuminating read. Used in a careful and considered way, a sensitive teacher could share this book with almost any age group.

Other titles in this series are What is Race? and What is Right and Wrong?

 

Kiran is a Primary Teacher and English Leader, with a Masters in Teaching Studies. She has been teaching for 10 years and is passionate about how English and Reading can empower learners. Kiran runs the @WomenedBookclub. She enjoys reviewing books for Just Imagine as well as contributing to content to some of their projects. Kiran shares her practice, some enabled through OU/UKLA/RfP initiatives/ events as well as speaking at local and national events about empowering fiction for young girls, diversity and the importance of kindness.