Yes We Can A Biography of President Barack Obama

Garen Thomas

Feiwel & Friends



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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"This is our time—to put people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth—that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope; and where we are met with cynicism and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."
President Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech; Chicago, IL; November 4, 2008
Born in the U.S.A., the son of an African father and an American mother, a boy who spent his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii, Barack Obama is truly a citizen of the world. In kindergarten, he wrote an essay titled, "I Want to Become President," and now, with his fierce optimism, exuberant sense of purpose and determination, and above all, his belief that change can happen, Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, has made that dream come true.

Garen Thomas takes us through the life of Barack Obama, from his struggle to fit in with his classmates, and concern about not knowing his biological father, through his term as an Illinois senator, and the long campaign for president, to his historic victory.


Praise for Yes We Can

"Yes We Can is an intelligent, teen-friendly book that not only gives kids an Obama overview, but also gives important insight into Obama's background, his wrestlings with racial issues, and his drive for change . . . Thomas lays bare the angst that young Obama had, his unusual male role models, and the fact that he wasn't always a ‘good boy.' Obama was an angry young teen once and he overcame it, which may make him even more of a role model for kids today."—Terri Schlichenmeyer, Our Weekly

"Will he make history? Thomas says he already has."—South Florida Times

"A smoothly written account of the candidate's life."People Magazine

"Thomas's clear prose will help students learn more about the first African American to gain a major party nomination for the presidency."School Library Journal

"[An] adulatory profile of the presidential candidate's meteoric rise."—Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Garen Thomas

  • Garen Thomas worked as an editor in children's book publishing for more than a decade, editing numerous notable children's picture books and novels, including Carole Boston Weatherford's Caldecott Honor Book Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson; Nelson's We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball; and the Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, by Julius Lester. She continues to act as a consultant and children's books editor on a freelance basis while working on her own writing and film projects. She holds an A.B. from Harvard University.

  • Garen Thomas (c) Garen Thomas