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“Let Kids Vote” Podcast: Election Politics Without Yelling

When Fina Mendoza moved from California to Capitol Hill with her Congressman father, she wasn’t sure she’d fit in here. Everybody was so preoccupied—or unavailable—that the lonely little girl’s only friend was her dog, Senator Something.

But that was then—in Kitty Felde’s 2019 novel for young readers called “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza”—where, among other fears, the ten-year-old confronted the fabled Demon Cat of the U.S. Capitol.

And this is now. In the latest installment of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries, a podcast series created by Felde based on her book, Fina and her new friends are undertaking a “genius project” to lower the voting age to “double digits.”

“Let Kids Vote” is a two-part episode in which they, along with some help from their mentors, deliver a high-spirited lesson in civics and elections that doesn’t get mired in politics. Or, as Felde notes, “without yelling at people.”

Since the series focuses on mysteries, there is, of course, also a case to solve. Who has been breaking into the kids’ classroom and trashing it? The teacher suspects it’s one of them, so the students need to find out who the culprit is in order to clear their names.

“Let Kids Vote” debuts October 6 on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. It features an entertaining line-up of broadcast veterans (including an actor who plays [woofs?] the role of Senator Something). You can listen to a preview here. For more information—or to download a free curriculum relating to the episode—visit www.finamendozamysteries.com.

Public radio journalist Kitty Felde covered Capitol Hill for six years and is currently the host and executive producer of the award-winning Book Club for Kids podcast. She hopes that The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcasts will “get the next generation of voters excited about civics” and encourage respectful discussion about government and politics. www.kittyfelde.com

Karen Lyon is the Hill Rag’s Literary Editor, President Emerita of the annual Literary Hill BookFest, a Contributor to Folger Magazine and writes the monthly Literary Hill column. You can reach her at klyon@literarybookfest.org.

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