Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln

( 1 )

Overview

Abraham Lincoln was one busy man. He had a country to run. And a war to win. And a family to care for. But when it came time to honor all the soldiers who had died in the great battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln still took time to say a few words. Two hundred and seventy-one to be exact. Here is a true story about a great man and his famous speech.

Provides a look at the private side of Abraham Lincoln and at the circumstances surrounding his short, but ...

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Overview

Abraham Lincoln was one busy man. He had a country to run. And a war to win. And a family to care for. But when it came time to honor all the soldiers who had died in the great battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln still took time to say a few words. Two hundred and seventy-one to be exact. Here is a true story about a great man and his famous speech.

Provides a look at the private side of Abraham Lincoln and at the circumstances surrounding his short, but memorable speech at the dedication of the cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield. Includes text of the speech.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Selected as an ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award in 1994, Fritz takes another look at history and the people who had great influence. She manages to relate the event, the text of the Gettysburg Address, and provide a personal look at Lincoln—his work and family life in an easy to read book, with just a touch of humor. Who knew that Lincoln shook so many hands that his would often get swollen and that so many people sought his autograph that he began to abbreviate his first name to just its initial. The president's son Tad would often accompany his father both to the war office and to field camps, and there are pictures of him in his uniform. The war was going badly and the South seemed to be winning all the battle until Gettysburg where at the cost of thousands of lives, the Union won the battle. President Lincoln was asked to say a few words at the ceremony at the cemetery for all the fallen soldiers. He worked on his speech but at the same time he was very worried because his young son Tad was ill. No it is not true that he wrote the speech on the train—it was a solid draft in his pocket that need just a little tweak. The date arrived and as expected Mr. Everett the guest speaker spoke for 2 hours and when it was President Lincoln's turn his speech was indeed short—ten sentences—271 words, but it is the speech that lives to this day. The story also ends on a happy note—President Lincoln's returns to his home and his son is shown in better health. A level 4 book in the "Penguin Young Readers" series aimed at fluent readers who can handle advanced vocabulary and complex sentence structures. The Guided Reading Level is "N." Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The All Aboard Reading series adds another of Fritz's ( The Double Life of Pocahantas ; Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? ) lively titles illuminating an episode in American history. Here Fritz explains that President Lincoln had two ``big jobs'': he had to free the slaves and he had to win the Civil War. She focuses on the year 1863 when, after 23,000 Union soldiers were killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln was asked to speak at a ceremony honoring the fallen troops. Dispelling traditional lore that the President scratched out his speech on the back of an envelope during the train ride to Gettysburg, Fritz explains that it was prepared in advance, needing only a last-minute ``lick.'' Making history tangible in a delightfully down-to-earth way, the author writes that Lincoln's address was very brief; after uttering a mere 271 words, ``he was finished. It took longer to boil an egg.'' Featuring typeface, vocabulary and themes carefully geared to her intended audience, the text informally yet ably conveys the significance of Lincoln's eloquent speech, which is reprinted on the book's final page. Interspersed among Robinson's subdued, well-populated drawings are several period photos. Ages 7-9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Fritz takes another look at history and the people who had great influence. She manages to relate the event, the text of the Gettysburg Address, and provide a personal look at Lincoln-his work and family life in an easy to read book, with just a touch of humor.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-A book that focuses on Lincoln and his Gettysburg Address, providing lively anecdotes about the man's work and responsibilities as president, his special relationship with his son, and about his famous remarks. The text of the speech appears at the end of the book. Fritz's narrative has a strong, fresh appeal. However, there's a lack of specificity in some of the details and a somewhat annoying quantity of sentence fragments. Several archival photographs are interspersed with Robinson's attractive, realistic watercolors. But while it is stated that the crowd is to have numbered 20,000 at Gettysburg, the illustrations give the impression of a much smaller group. A map, which shows the North and South in blue and gray respectively, doesn't include state names. Also, no sources are listed. While readers will certainly enjoy the very human portrayal of Lincoln, it is doubtful whether the larger historical issues will be made clear to them.- Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780448401706
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Series: Penguin Young Readers Level 4 Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 136,741
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Fritz, the Newbery Honor-winning author of Homesick, is best known for her engaging and enlightening nonfiction for young readers, including What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, and Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. She was honored with the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature by the New York State Library Association, and won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her career contribution to American children's literature.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    good book for children about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address

    We had read several of the short biographical books for young children by Jean Fritz, such as George Washington's Breakfast; And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?; Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?; and Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?. Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln, an "All Aboard Reading" book for "Station Stop 3," provides a look at the private side of Abraham Lincoln and a summary of the circumstances surrounding his short but memorable address at the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery. We found this book for children who are just reading alone at one of the Lincoln sites that we visited in eastern Illinois.

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