Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary

Overview

The award-winning author of Ben Franklin?s Almanac and Our Eleanor has created an enthralling joint biography of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, and his complex wife?a scrapbook history that uses photographs, letters, engravings, and even cartoons, along with a fascinating text, to form an enthralling museum on the page. The Lincolns received four starred reviews and won the Boston Globe?Horn Book Award for Non-Fiction, making this the perfect addition to any ...

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Overview

The award-winning author of Ben Franklin’s Almanac and Our Eleanor has created an enthralling joint biography of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, and his complex wife—a scrapbook history that uses photographs, letters, engravings, and even cartoons, along with a fascinating text, to form an enthralling museum on the page. The Lincolns received four starred reviews and won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Non-Fiction, making this the perfect addition to any collection.

Here are the extraordinary lives of Abraham and Mary, from their disparate childhoods and tumultuous courtship, through the agony of the Civil War, to the loss of three of their children, and finally their own tragic deaths. Readers can find Mary’s recipe for Abraham’s favorite cake—and bake it themselves; hear what Abraham looked like as a toddler; see a photo of the Lincolns’ dog; discover that the Lincoln children kept goats at the White House; see the Emancipation Proclamation written in Lincoln’ s own hand. Perfect for reluctant readers as well as history lovers, The Lincolns provides a living breathing portrait of a man, a woman, and a country.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2008:
"The scrapbook technique . . . remains fresh and lively, a great way to provide a huge amount of information in a format that invites both browsing and in-depth study."

Starred Review, Booklist, September 15, 2008:
"Fleming offers another standout biographical title, this time twining accounts of two lives—Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln—into one fascinating whole."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 2008:
"It's hard to imagine a more engaging or well-told biography of the Lincolns."

Starred Review, Horn Book Magazine, November/December 2008:
"Fleming is able to compare and contrast the president with his first lady, giving us not only greater insight into each of them but also a fuller picture of the world in which they lived."

Review, New York Times Book Review, November 9, 2008:
"The format of 'The Lincolns' may be aimed at young readers, but, given Candace Fleming's unerring eye for the dramatic quotation (with the Lincolns, there were a lot of those), this birth-to-death biography of Mary and Abraham is hard to put down even for readers who know the story."

Review, New York Times Book Review, November 16, 2008:
"This dual biography is hard to put down, even if you know the story."

Andrew Holleran
The format of The Lincolns may be aimed at young readers, but, given Candace Fleming's unerring eye for the dramatic quotation (with the Lincolns, there were a lot of those), this birth-to-death biography of Mary and Abraham is hard to put down even for readers who know the story. Fleming not only analyzes Civil War battles but also gives us plenty of interesting sidebars, like Mary Lincoln's recipe for white cake…The surprising thing about Fleming's book—which should especially appeal to its intended audience—is what we can only call the romance of Lincoln's early life on the frontier in Indiana and Illinois, a world that may seem highly exotic to American children marooned in affluence and technology
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This book—in the format of a family scrapbook—outlines and defines the life of Abraham Lincoln and, eventually, his wife, Mary. Beginning with a timeline of Lincoln's life, the text offers a combination of family pictures, newspaper articles and illustrations, and an ongoing narrative that provides the specific biographical information on Lincoln, his family and his goals as a lawyer, husband, father and, eventually, president of the United States. This is one of the most thorough yet accessible books for middle and high school readers that I have seen, although there are pages with so much text that the sheer amount of black and white on the page might be a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless, the majority of the papers are broken up with pictures, cartoons and illustrations in a way that supports the text and helps contextualize the great man against the events of his personal and professional life. A wealth of additional books, websites and information about the research done for the book and where it originated adds an interesting touch to the book; it may also help student readers understand the importance of a variety of sources when one is collecting research. This book needs to be a definite addition to any school library. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up

What did this backwoods boy and this bluegrass girl have in common? Using her signature scrapbook approach, Fleming lays out the answer in a biography that gives equal emphasis to Abraham and Mary Lincoln for an insightful portrait of their lives. Her scholarship over five years pays off with a rich account that is personal and concrete. She recounts Mary's early life as a privileged-but motherless-child, her ambitions for her husband, and her role as "first lady" (a term originally coined for her). Large and small details are juxtaposed with specifics about Lincoln and broadened by Mary's significance. For example, a political decision was made regarding her attendance at the debates; Lincoln wanted to preserve his "common man" image rather than show off his refined and educated wife. Unlike most biographies, which conclude with Lincoln's death, this one follows Mary's story to the end, detailing Robert Todd's role in her commitment to an insane asylum, Tad's death, and her own demise. Presented in period typefaces, the boxed bits of text, sidebars, and numerous running heads and subheads add detail. From portraits to pets, the book contains a wide variety of graphics, including written and visual primary documents that enrich every spread. Notes, resources, and source notes are exemplary. It's hard to imagine a more engaging or well-told biography of the Lincolns.-Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Fleming's five-year immersion in letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches and other primary documents yields a monumental visual chronicle of Abraham and Mary Lincoln and their times. The visuals range from the essential to the mundane-portraits, maps, battlefield scenes, political cartoons, dress patterns, a stovepipe hat and measurements for a pair of boots-and, along with clear writing and thematic organization, leave readers "feeling as if you have just visited old friends." Redressing a wrong committed by many histories for young readers, Mary Lincoln is portrayed here as a multidimensional woman of intelligence and social conscience, and the issue of slavery is clearly and concisely handled. The scrapbook technique, used previously in Our Eleanor (2005) and Ben Franklin's Almanac (2003), remains fresh and lively, a great way to provide a huge amount of information in a format that invites both browsing and in-depth study. Extensive end notes round out an impressive volume. (bibliography, websites, a note on research, picture credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375836183
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 599,020
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of many critically acclaimed, bestselling books for children. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    Honest Abe.

    Great little book, that tells a lot and shows great photos. This is a good history book that you can put down and pick back up over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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