There Ought to be a Law

A Bright Day at the Capitol

Children - Educational
26 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2020
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Author Biography

Portia served as legislative assistant for legislators in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives. She expresses her passion for youth by helping them understand how government works. Portia leads programs for schools, faith communities, and civic groups about the legislative process. Contact her at for details.

Professor of Religion at East Carolina University, Dr. Mercer has written widely about the Bible and other topics in religion. His passion is helping faith communities and other groups understand how artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering, and other breakthrough technologies are going to radically change our bodies, emotions, and minds. Dr. Mercer served a decade on the Greenville, NC City Council and works to engage citizens in their government. Dr. Mercer speaks widely on subjects of his books and volunteers in his wife’s church youth group. Contact him at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

A visit to the state capitol can be an interesting experience in There Ought to Be a Law. That’s where laws are made and Eliza’s mother is a legislator. She makes laws. Eliza and her best friend, Martin, tag along one day to learn about Representative Bright’s job (that’s how one addresses a lawmaker). They also learn how a law is made: the procedure and the multiple steps it must go through before it gets approved by the Senate and the Governor. In order to understand the process, Eliza and Martin are encouraged to write their own law and follow the steps to see it approved. Their law has to do with bullying and free ice cream for children.

Portia Bright Pittman and Dr. Calvin Mercer’s combined efforts have created a marvelous book for young readers to teach them about lawmaking in the United States. The process may seem complicated and there is some advanced vocabulary in the story, but the colorful illustrations and fun-filled dialogue between the children and their guides at the General Assembly make this into an informative and interesting read. The plot leads the children to Eliza’s mother’s place of work and, through writing their own law about bullying, they can learn to appreciate and understand the lengthy process. Although there are a lot of difficult words for young readers, there is a useful glossary of terms at the end of the book. There Ought to Be a Law: A Bright Day at the Capitol is a great learning tool and will hopefully inspire more young people to consider the important jobs available to work in the General Assembly.