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Children's LiteratureIt goes without saying that the rise of Abraham Lincoln from an impoverished country boy to the White House remains one of the great success stories in American history. What is often overlooked in this classic rags-to-riches tale is the fact that Mr. Lincoln's climb to the presidency was marked by bitter disappointment, tragic personal losses, the supreme stress of civil war, and a final tragic death. This story of great highs and lows is capably presented in this chapter in the Compass Point Books "Signature Lives" series. Combining a solid text with well-chosen period illustrations author Haugen offers readers a fine introductory biography of President Lincoln. Many books have been written about Abraham Lincoln and this particular work sheds no new light on this man's life and times; however, it does provide a sound telling of this nearly mythological story. In the end, the author also demonstrates a sound understanding of Mr. Lincoln's strengths as a leader and a human being. In the author's words, "Lincoln possessed the perfect combination of qualities necessary for great leadership: honesty, compassion, courage, and a good sense of right and wrong." In making this assessment Haugen is correct and amplifies her message by recounting Mr. Lincoln's life in a clear and straightforward manner in this book. 2006, Compass Point Books, Ages 10 to 14.
—Greg M. Romaneck