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Children's LiteratureIt was a great day in American history when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. On January 1, 1863, the federal government finally made clear that it would no longer support the institution of slavery. For many people the Civil War was no longer just a war to protect the union; it was also a war to get rid of slavery once and for all. The author makes this important point at the opening of the book; the point is also an interesting one to discuss in the classroom. Martin goes on to discuss and describe the "Slavery Issue," making an interesting connection between slavery and the how the weather differs in the northern and southern states. Following a general description of slavery there is a chapter about the Civil War itself and how it came about. Here we meet Abraham Lincoln for the first time and are introduced to the concept of state's rights. The events of the war that lead towards Abraham Lincoln's remarkable emancipation proclamation document are outlined. This is followed several chapters describing Abraham Lincoln's struggles with the slavery issue and how he finally came to realize that it made military and governmental sense to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The fifth and final chapter describes the ramifications of the proclamation, its after-effects and how it affected American history in the long run. There are interesting annotated illustrations, maps and pages or boxes of additional information throughout the book. At the back of the book the reader will find a timeline, a glossary, a list of suggested books for further reading, a list of "Places of Interest," a list of Internet sites, and an index. This is one of the six books in the "Civil War Events" series,and also part of the Bridgestone "Let Freedom Ring" series. 2003, Capstone Press, Ages 8 to 18.
— Marya Jansen-Gruber