Mary M. Burns

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 166

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References to the presidential race between Roosevelt and Landon in 1936 help to establish the setting [of Soup for President] for a nostalgic view of an era when youthful high jinks were interpreted as boyish pranks rather than as juvenile delinquency. Engaged in a project devised by their perceptive teacher, Robert's best friend Soup competes against the enchanting Norma Jean Bissell for the school presidency…. The conclusion, by today's standards, may disappoint those who would prefer Norma Jean to be more militant and less romantic, but in the context of the time and place, her attitude is believable. In contrast to John Fitzgerald's stories of the Great Brain …, the book's style and tone suggest adult recollection. Thus, the story succeeds primarily as a humorous reminiscence of small-town attitudes and customs in the pre- World War II era. (pp. 279-80)

Mary M. Burns, "Stories for Intermediate Readers: 'Soup for President'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1978 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. LIV, No. 3, June, 1978, pp. 279-80.


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