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The Five Books I Am Sending President Trump (Hoping He Will Read Them)

MJ Ramos Posted by MJ Ramos, Editorial Assistant Intern, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

The Five Books I Am Sending President Trump (Hoping He Will Read Them)

Yertle the Turtle

The Five Books I Am Sending President Trump (Hoping He Will Read Them​)

Dear Mr. President,

I’ve noticed it’s a brutal world out there for you. I know I am just an editorial intern here at Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and we don’t actually know each other, but I believe I can provide you with a handful of the best literary offerings to help ease your transition into the White House and into civil society as a whole. I can say confidently that I know a few things about books, like how to read them, and I am certain I know these are the best books ever.

Here are five that I think will help you relax as you take breaks from signing all those executive orders. I’m sure your big hand hurts by now.

  1. Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss – A true classic, sir. Who hasn’t read Dr. Seuss at this point? Yertle the Turtle is the king of his pond and he wants everything! But sometimes wanting absolute control leads to our downfall. Take what happened to Trujillo as a real life example of the consequences of letting power get to your head. Or Mussolini. Or Stalin.
  2. The Chickens Build a Wall by Jean-Francois Dumont – I know the author doesn’t have an American name, but the book is worth the read anyway. You too can learn why walls don’t work to keep the scary things out, and what chickens can do to overcome their fears of those who are different than they are.
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – I’d say skip over the other six books and poke your nose in this one first! Who needs backstory or facts when you have all the action happening on page one? Pro tip: If you find yourself sympathizing with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, pause, close the book, go get some hot milk, and ask yourself: What would Harry do?
  4. Maus by Art Spieglman – Here’s where things take a turn for the serious, I’m afraid. I figured the drawings of mice and pigs might compel you to read this the whole way through. I know, I know, some would say this isn’t a literary book, in the traditional sense, but a graphic novel. But let me tell you, it’s a stunning, real life story that has won many prizes because it’s so great. This book is the best. Maus won the best prize: the Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Merriem-Webster’s Dictionary for Children – A simple tome containing all the factual, real words that we use in the English language. This can be very helpful for your future presidential addresses and interacting with English-speaking humans on a daily basis. I’m not an expert in the precise requirements of your position, but I believe maintaining healthy, interpersonal relationships are one of the many tasks honorable presidents have to do. Be honorable, sir. With hard work and dedication, you can be too.

Yours in keeping up American values,



David Marshall
David Marshall

Great article, Melissa.  Yertle the Turtle was one of my favorite books growing up, because I got bullied a lot after school, and this Dr. Suess story gave me the courage to stand up the the bullies.  I also like your other selections. If you have an extra copy of Maus hanging around, may I borrow it?

February 2, 2017