The Left Behinds series so far contains two different historical fiction novels with time travel adventures in which preteens must save the day. In The iPhone that Saved George Washington, three kids travel to 1776 to discover that George Washington has been shot. Can they reverse this alternate history before history is changed forever? In Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union, the same kids must stop a change in the Battle of Gettysburg. Will they be quick enough?Continue Reading
First Mothers by Beverly Gherman and Julie Downing (Clarion Books, 2012) finally puts the mothers’ stories at the forefront. With just one or two pages per mother, Gherman captures the personalities of the women who raised the people who would become president of the USA. The facts are interesting, relevant, and amusing. Julie Downing’s cartoon-like illustrations keep humor through the book as well, highlighting the humor of the mother’s stories.Continue Reading
I am fascinated by Abraham Lincoln, and last month’s reread of Newbery-winner Lincoln: A Photobiography (reviewed here) only reinforced that.
Anthologist and “historian of ideas” Joe Wheeler has also been fascinated by Lincoln, and he spent seventeen years studying the fascinating man and collecting stories about him. Abraham Lincoln: A Man of Faith and Courage is Joe Wheeler’s collection of favorite stories from the life of the sixteenth president, focusing on the development of Lincoln’s faith and morals.
I really enjoyed the stories Wheeler collected. The book was personable and readable, so it moved quickly. Because I am religious, I appreciated the emphasis on Lincoln’s faith, and the first-person, opinionated side-notes, while completely unnecessary, made it feel like I was sitting by a rocking chair listening to my grandpa (or someone else’s grandpa) tell his favorite stories from Lincoln’s life. It felt like a book of reminiscences.Continue Reading
I was going to read Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin for the US Presidents Reading Project. But then I started to be intimidated by its 800+ pages; I’m currently reading a 700+ page book and I have been for three months. So, while I do plan on reading Goodwin’s book at some point, I thought I’d start a little easier with President Lincoln by going for some of the children’s books about our 16th president that have won the Caldecott or Newbery awards or honors.
Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman, the Newbery Award winner for 1988, is absolutely fantastic. I learned a lot as I read the short 150 pages about the life Abraham Lincoln, complete with a brief introduction to the political turmoil surrounding him in the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s. I forgot I was reading a children’s book.Continue Reading