Hard Work, But It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter
Written by Bethany Hegedus
Illustrated by Kyung Eun Han
Age range: 5-8
Hard Work tells the story of Jimmy Carter our 39th President. Bethany Hegedus takes Carter’s story of his youth and tells of his life growing up in a time of segregation and how his life was impacted by it. Carter in his youth had African American friends and acquaintances, but as Carter grew up, he began to realize how society treated his friends differently. Hegedus tells of his best friend A.D. Davies, how the two of them would go to the movies, and the two could not sit together to enjoy the show. As the two friends got older Davies realized that he could “no longer be himself around Jimmy.” Leaving a young Carter to realize that the system was not right or fair.
Carter started to develop a list of what he called his Good Mental Habits as a way to “navigate life’s challenges.” Carter moved away from his boyhood home but moved back later as an adult with his family. He realized how segregation and discrimination still played a part in society, with an understanding that things had to change, and he entered politics. When he won the governor’s race in Georgia in 1970, he told a crowd “the time for racial discrimination is over.” He later set his sights on becoming President and when he won, he set an agenda that included improving race relations and improving peace with foreign leaders.
After his Presidency Carter still lives by his Good Mental Habits. He and his wife established the Carter Center for “waging peace and fighting disease and building hope.” He has also worked passionately for Habitat for Humanity. Post presidency, Carter’s mission is to be a humanitarian and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his efforts.
A Bookish Decree: This story soars not only as a Presidential biography but shows a man who’s mission in life reflects the good in what humanity should be.