“Only time will tell who Pete Buttigieg…will become.” This recurrent phrase expresses the theme of this admiring overview of the life of the first openly gay presidential candidate. Sanders ably describes important stepping stones in Buttigieg’s life, from his childhood in South Bend, IN, to Harvard and beyond—Tunisia, England, and Chicago—before his return to South Bend, where his early political career was interrupted by his Naval Reserve service in Afghanistan. Sanders notes parallel political life experiences: losing an election in high school before being elected senior class president and losing an election in Indiana before being elected mayor of South Bend. Public service is a major theme throughout the book, but so is Buttigieg’s personal identity. The importance of Buttigieg’s candidacy is emphasized by the cover’s tagline “first-of-his-kind man running.” The back matter includes a guide to the pronunciation of Buttigieg, the requirements to become president, a time line, and selected sources. Hastings’s digitally created art often shows the former mayor with diverse crowds, reinforcing the writer’s reference to South Bend as “a community that welcomed all people.” VERDICT An important picture book biography to add to school and public library collections. —School Library Journal
"Grounded in the theme of losses and wins that carries readers into the future...well worth the while."
"An accessible and informative picture book biography."
“One of the challenges of writing a picture book biography about a presidential candidate before an election is knowing the outcome of the election. Sanders makes this a non-issue with his superb biography, beginning his book with Buttigieg’s quote, “Are you ready to turn the page and start a new chapter in the American story?” —books4yourkids
MAYOR PETE: THE STORY OF PETE BUTTIGIEG
By Rob Sanders
Illustrated by Levi Hastings
Get to know Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a first-of-his-kind candidate running for a one-of-a-kind office, in this inspiring picture book biography.
When Pete Buttigieg announced he was running for president, he became the first openly gay candidate to run for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination and the first millennial ever to pursue the office. But before the nation knew him as “Mayor Pete,” he was a boy growing up in a Rust Belt town, a kid who dreamed of being an astronaut, and a high schooler who wondered about a life of public service. Without a doubt, no one could have imagined who Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, the boy who lived in a two-story house on College Street, would become.
Through victories and defeats, and the changes that the seasons bring, the young boy from South Bend grew into a man devoted to helping others. Mayor Pete: The Story of Pete Buttigieg celebrates the life of an American who dared to be the first and who imagined a better world for everyone.
A Who Did It First? Book