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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A visit to the state capitol can be an interesting experience in There Ought to Be a Law. That’s where laws are made and Eliza’s mother is a legislator. She makes laws. Eliza and her best friend, Martin, tag along one day to learn about Representative Bright’s job (that’s how one addresses a lawmaker). They also learn how a law is made: the procedure and the multiple steps it must go through before it gets approved by the Senate and the Governor. In order to understand the process, Eliza and Martin are encouraged to write their own law and follow the steps to see it approved. Their law has to do with bullying and free ice cream for children.
Portia Bright Pittman and Dr. Calvin Mercer’s combined efforts have created a marvelous book for young readers to teach them about lawmaking in the United States. The process may seem complicated and there is some advanced vocabulary in the story, but the colorful illustrations and fun-filled dialogue between the children and their guides at the General Assembly make this into an informative and interesting read. The plot leads the children to Eliza’s mother’s place of work and, through writing their own law about bullying, they can learn to appreciate and understand the lengthy process. Although there are a lot of difficult words for young readers, there is a useful glossary of terms at the end of the book. There Ought to Be a Law: A Bright Day at the Capitol is a great learning tool and will hopefully inspire more young people to consider the important jobs available to work in the General Assembly.