The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election
The year is 2025. The United States is afflicted with global cyber attacks, economic crashes, foreign wars, and lots of anxiety. State budgets for public schools are hit hard. In a student body president race in a small city Indiana high school, popular, charismatic Matthew has his own consultants, bloggers, oppo researchers, and funds from an unidentified source that have helped him win every election since ninth grade.
Over-achieving, introverted Britain is a novice to elections, but as a history wonk, politics fascinate her. She also has a crush on Matthew. After she joins his SBP team, someone hacks Matthew’s website, leaking stories that the candidate is far from the Eagle Scout he pretends to be. Matthew and his team of 15 call the stories “spineless lies.”
Britain is stunned when she’s scapegoated by Matthew as the mystery hacker. Kids dump on her for betraying the school leader. Her reputation in shreds, she decides to enter the presidential race to clear her name. No one gives the novice a chance, but that only makes Britain more determined to find a way to win.
With the help of her three good friends, “No more secrets” becomes Team Britain’s slogan. For a while she stumbles in her campaign, until the anonymous hacker begins leaving notes in Britain’s locker, telling her which rocks to look under if she wants to beat odds-on favorite Matthew. She puzzles over who exactly is helping her—her favorite history teacher, an apostate on Team Matthew, or one of the many “undecideds” that impact any election?
Every mystery solved leads Brit to face a more complicated challenge, some threatening her existence…
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Moot Point Productions (November 25, 2018)
Genre: Young Adult
The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election is available on Amazon.
“Michael French has penned a fascinating, fast-paced, futuristic story about a determined high school senior named Brit who runs an against-all-odds campaign for student body president. There are scenarios that bedevil the imagination: dirty tricks, cyber and other tech attacks, love intrigues, and a picture of how the personal growth of one individual can shape a collective future. As a politician with several elections under my belt, I couldn’t put the novel down.”
-- Governor Bill Richardson, former member of Congress, US Ambassador to the United Nations, US Secretary of Energy, and Governor of NM
“If you like cheering for an underdog and savor a complex, exciting story that seems to spring from today’s events, you’ll love The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election. We could use more real heroes like Brit, the leading character in Michael R. French’s newest novel. She’s a young woman with tremendous tenacity and a strong moral compass who rises above her innate shyness to make a difference in her world.”
—Anne Hillerman, author of the New York Times best-selling Leaphorn/Chee/Manuelito mystery series
About the Author:
Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family.
In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying "no" too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.
French’s work, which includes several best-sellers, has been warmly reviewed in the New York Times and been honored with a number of literary prizes.
Find Michael Online:
Review by Carmen Otto
I enjoyed reading The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. At first I was nervous it would be difficult to understand because I'm only in 6th grade, but I found the book to be easy to follow. Brit was my favorite character, but I also thought Nathan and Matthew were easy to relate to. I was so happy that Brit found the truth and didn't lie about anything and my favorite part was when Brit won by 11 more points than Matthew. I am the type of animal lover who is drawn to help the runt of the litter kitten or the calf who who is struggling on her feet - so cheering for the underdog is definitely my thing. When the underdog becomes the top dog it's pretty exhilarating!
During the week it took me to read The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election, my mom and I would talk about it casually (because she read it as well). Even though this book takes place in the future, it brought up a lot of the stuff going on at my school today. My mom and I would talk about the book and how it relates to me. We used the word "integrity" a lot and even though Brit isn't perfect, I think she's a good role model.
I hope my school library gets a copy of The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election so other students my age will read it and enjoy it as much as I did!
----------Blog Tour Dates
Launch Day – February 25th @ The Muffin
Michael R. French returns to WOW! Women on Writing for his tour of The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election with an interview and giveaway at the Muffin!
Tuesday, February 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro reads and reviews the latest bestseller by Michael R. French. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!
Wednesday, February 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto
Middle Schooler Carmen Otto offers her thoughts after reading The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers won’t want to miss this chance to hear from Carmen and learn more about this excellent YA novel!
Thursday, February 28th @ Bella Donna’s Books with Dawn Thomas
Dawn Thomas reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election for readers of Bella Donna’s Books. You’ll delight to learn more about Michael R. French and his exciting new work!
Friday, March 1st @ Fiona Ingram
Fellow author Fiona Ingram spotlights the latest novel by Michael R. French. Readers will delight to learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!
Saturday, March 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina has fellow author Michael R. French in today’s spotlight with a guest post by French and more information about the bestseller The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election.
Tuesday, March 5th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s Author Spotlight at Breakeven Books is a bestseller by Michael R. French. Readers will delight as they learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!
Wednesday, March 6th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Grab a cup of coffee and join Lacey for an enjoyable review of this delightful novel!
Thursday, March 7th @ Sreevarsha Sreejith
Sreevarsha reviews Michael R. French’s latest novel – a YA work titled The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election. Don’t miss Sreevarsha’s insight and thoughts!
Friday, March 8th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reviews the enjoyable YA novel The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers and Choices won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear what Madeline thinks about this book.
Tuesday, March 12th @ Book Santa Fe with Crystal Otto
Crystal reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers at Book Santa Fe love Michael R. French and are sure to love his latest YA novel!
Wednesday, March 13th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy interviews Michael R. French about his latest novel The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election.
Tuesday, March 19th @ Bring on Lemons with the Hansen Girls
Cathy Hansen along with her two teen daughters offer their thoughts about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French.
Thursday, March 21st @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles loves YANovels and is excited to share her review of The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French.
About Today's Reviewer:
Carmen is an 11 year old from a small Wisconsin town where she lives with her family. Carmen spends her days in school and evenings on her family's dairy farm where she milks cows alongside her father and grandfather. She enjoys swim team, reading books, and playing with her many siblings. When Carmen grows she plans to become a large animal veterinarian where she can help farmers with their cattle but also work with horses.