REACH HIGHER: An Inspiring Photo Celebration of First Lady Michelle Obama, by Amanda Lucidon, Crown Books for Young Readers, Oct. 23, 2018, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 8-12)
The life of a first lady — any first lady — is one of sacrifice. It’s an inherited job that comes when her spouse is elected president of the United States. There are no defined roles, and the first lady isn’t paid.
Reach Higher gives young readers an inside look at what life is like for a first lady. The book by former White House photographer Amanda Lucidon, is a collection of photographs, personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories featuring Michelle Obama.
Reach Higher also describes the role of the first lady, past and present; explains what a White House photographer does; and shares the history of the White House and the people who lived there.
Michelle Obama, however, is the star of Reach Higher, which is named not only for one of Obama’s initiatives but for what seems to be a life motto. Obama actually championed four initiatives as first lady — serving as an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.
The Reach Higher Initiative is perhaps the most enduring of her causes. The goal of the initiative was to inspire young people across America to take charge of their own futures by completing some education past high school through a professional training program, a community college or a four-year college or university.
Following along the lines of Obama’s initiative, Lucidon’s Reach Higher aims to have a positive impact on young readers. Seventy photographs are paired with fairly comprehensive text that is easy to read all at once or a chapter at a time.
My review is based on a partial advanced reader copy, but even that was exquisitely edited. I hope people can put politics aside and let their children read this lovely look at the life of a first lady.