Children's Literature - Julia OltmannIn this book, Meltzer outlines the life of Abraham Lincoln, organized as a compilation of his speeches and letters. The book follows Lincoln through the stages of his life in a non-traditional format: at the beginning of each chapter, there is an illustration of a significant figure who influenced him (including Thomas Jefferson, Sojourner Truth, and Walt Whitman). Meltzer then provides historical context for each subject and follows up with an appropriate passage from Lincoln's writing. The content covers information ranging from Lincoln's childhood to his relationships to his work as a leader of the country, with emphasis on his presidency and fight to abolish slavery. The author writes in an easy-to-read manner, but the content allows for an in-depth look at an important figure in American history. The illustrations were appropriately placed, and the layout is an interesting change of pace from conventional biographies. This book provides a fascinating personal look into Lincoln's life. Reviewer: Julia Oltmann
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn his more than 30 books, historian Meltzer has introduced young readers to subjects ranging from crime in America to potatoes. Here, he traces Lincoln's life and the development of his ideas through his speeches, letters and essays. The bulk of each chapter is made up of lengthy quotes, loosely framed by Meltzer's sketchy commentary, which attempts to provide a historical background to the material while allowing Lincoln's words to speak for themselves. Though this minimalist approach does allow the president's language to take center stage, it is also a drawback: the collection certainly contains some gems, but Lincoln's characteristically dense phrasing and frequent twists of logic are likely to leave many readers more exhausted than enlightened. Breaking up the text are forceful and brooding linocuts by Alcorn ( Rembrandt's Beret ) depicting Lincoln and his contemporaries; the artist's haunting visions of slavery are a highlight of the book. Brief profiles of the president's contemporaries, a chronology and a bibliography are provided at the end of the book. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Janice Del NegroAs Meltzer states in his introduction, there are many books that talk about Abraham Lincoln's skill as an orator and writer, but few that make his words accessible to the young. Selecting excerpts from his writings and speeches, Meltzer gives Lincoln's words rich historical context by framing them with the facts of his life. Alcorn's powerful black-and-white and color linoleum block prints have impact and majesty. Each of the 14 chapters is introduced by a decorative block print and contains a portrait of an important person from Lincoln's day. Some also include graphic interpretations of Lincoln himself. With a selection of thumbnail sketches of Lincoln's contemporaries and a chronology of Lincoln's life and times, this is a handsome combination of well-researched nonfiction and quality bookmaking.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >