Darice Bailer
William Clinton
Child's World, 2016
Look Inside the Book
ISBN 978-1-503-80880-5
William Clinton (Premier Presidents)

Behind the Book

“He wanted to make life easier for the poor and the elderly. He thought teachers should be paid more. He wanted to make schools better.”

— William Clinton, The Child’s World

I loved learning about President Clinton when asked to write about him for young readers. One of Clinton’s biographers said that the president often walked to the back of the room and shook hands with people in wheelchairs. Clinton cared about people.

I also discovered that Clinton dreamed about being president even back in high school.  Here is part of a chapter I wrote that was later shortened for the book:


It’s July 24, 1963. Bill Clinton is 16 years old.

The tall boy with light brown hair stands on the White House lawn. Bill is in a summer program for high school students. Boys and girls are learning about American government in Washington. The boys are going to meet President John F. Kennedy. The young president walks across the lawn to shake the boys’ hands.

“Someday,” Bill’s mother had told him. “Someday you will be president.”

Bill is very smart. He is an outstanding student.  Back in second grade, Bill’s teacher said he could become anything he wanted. Including president.

But President Kennedy grew up rich.

Not Bill.

After first grade, Bill lived on a big farm, without a bathroom. A snake looked up at him when he peed outside. Another time, he mowed the lawn next to a rattlesnake. No U.S. President ever came from Arkansas.

When he was in fourth grade, Bill met a new boy on the playground. He stuck out his hand. “Hi, I’m Bill Clinton,” he said.

Now Bill brushed past the crowd of boys on the White House lawn. He stuck out his hand to President Kennedy. And Kennedy shook it!

Bill was president of his class in high school. Maybe … he could be president of the U.S.


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