Book Review: High Hopes

Written by Deborah Heiligman

Our former president’s life and hopes for his country are presented in the historical book High Hopes: A Photo Biography of John F. Kennedy, written by Deborah Heiligman. This book follows the life and death of John F. Kennedy, allowing a young reader to have new perspectives on our fallen president.

Heiligman begins the text by detailing John F. Kennedy’s childhood. Born on May 29, 1917, his full name was John “Jack” Fitzgerald Kennedy. During his presidency, however, most people called him “JFK”.

Heiligman also describes how JFK suffered back problems throughout his life and was sick often. But, he still loved spending time in the sun and playing sports with his siblings. In fact, throughout his life, JFK often faced his illnesses with a positive attitude.

JFK had high hopes for his future. He wanted to be president of the United States so that he could make America a better place. Ultimately, he was elected the 35th president of the United States. While in term, he founded the Peace Corps, made life easier for African-Americans, created an economic policy to help the poor, and authored a foreign policy to make America safer. These accomplishments certainly made his hopes of brightening the American future a reality.

Unfortunately, JFK's life ended too soon, when he was only 46 years of age. JFK was tragically assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas by a man named Lee Harvey Oswald shot who JFK three times. At JFK's funeral in Washington D.C., his wife, Jackie Kennedy, and their two children watched JFK's flag-covered-casket pass them, during the funeral procession.

Although John F. Kennedy passed away, many will always remember him as an influential man through High Hopes: A Photo Biography of John F. Kennedy. I recommend this book to students aged 12 and up, because I think most of them would enjoy learning about JFK's life from start to finish.

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