Library adds Lincoln books—February 6, 2009
February 12th marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and many new books about our sixteenth president have been published recently because of this. I have always been fascinated with the life of President Lincoln, and I have enjoyed reading the new books that have been added to the children’s collection.
Candace Fleming, author of “The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary,” grew up in Illinois, often visiting famous Lincoln historical sites on school trips. When her editor suggested that she write a biography of Abraham Lincoln, she decided she wanted to “peel away the layers of myth and symbol and produce a close, intimate portrait of the man.”
Fleming decided that she couldn’t completely understand Lincoln without acknowledging the presence of his wife, because Mary made his political career the center of her adult life. So she chose a unique way of telling the Lincoln story by presenting both of their lives in one volume.
The book begins with a timeline of “the Lincoln years,” listing Abraham’s events, Mary’s events, and events shared by both in different fonts so that they stand out from each other. The author begins with Abraham’s birth and continues through Mary’s death, and she includes many photographs and drawings to illustrate their lives.
Younger children will enjoy reading “Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln” by Judith St. George. This book provides a simple introduction to Lincoln’s childhood. Deborah Hopkinson’s book “Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)” provides a fictionalized story of an event that did, in fact, take place when Lincoln was a young boy.
“Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln” by Doreen Rappaport provides another simple biography of the sixteenth president and is beautifully illustrated with paintings by Kadir Nelson. Each page also contains a quotation from Lincoln’s writings that helps to illustrate his life and beliefs.
Barry Denenberg has written a unique book about the life of Abraham Lincoln. “Lincoln Shot: A President’s Life Remembered” is written in the form of a “Special Memorial Edition” of “The National News.” The book is set up like a newspaper, and the pages look like old, browning newsprint with tattered edges. The book is eighteen inches tall, so when you hold it open to read it, you feel like you really are holding open a newspaper.
Look for these books and others in the children’s department of the library, and take time to learn more about one of our most famous presidents!