Trump’s presidential biography poses a unique set of challenges for publishers


In the days immediately following the 2016 presidential election, Beth Sutinis, executive editor for the children’s division of Time Inc. Books, was struggling to produce a profile of the person who was elected.

“It was one of the harder things I have had to do in a long career of writing and editing nonfiction for kids,” Sutinis said.

Presidential biographies are a staple of children’s book publishing, and of classrooms across the country. Nonfiction for children is a surging category, particularly in light of a Common Core mandate that schools put greater emphasis on it in their curriculum. Publishers like Penguin Young Readers, Scholastic and Time for Kids chronicle stories like the rise of Mr. Obama from Illinois state senator to president, or the political legacy of the Bush family, interspersing those accounts with facts about presidential history. The books hit bookshelves every four years, usually long before historians and writers of nonfiction for adults weigh in.

But the story of Donald J. Trump posed a unique set of challenges.

Ms. Sutinis’s updated edition outlines Mr. Trump’s business and television career and his campaign. “He made controversial remarks about several groups of people, including Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans and women,” the book reads. “This led many, including some Republican officials, to back away from him.”

It goes on: “But Trump continued to receive wide support and thousands of people attended his rallies.”

One page features a Did You Know? fact: “Donald Trump is the first person elected to the presidency without experience in either the government or the military.”

via NY Times