Voyages: Reminiscences of Young Abe Lincoln

Overview

Through three voyages on the Mississippi River, a young Abraham Lincoln matures in the world and gives careful consideration to the issue of slavery. Travel with young Abraham Lincoln as he journeys up and down the "Father of Waters." Sit alongside him as he navigates his flatboat over dams, past currents, and through shallow water. Sail with him to the bustling port of New Orleans and back to his home up north. Along the way, you'll share his deepest thoughts and witness his struggle with the pressing ethical ...

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Overview

Through three voyages on the Mississippi River, a young Abraham Lincoln matures in the world and gives careful consideration to the issue of slavery. Travel with young Abraham Lincoln as he journeys up and down the "Father of Waters." Sit alongside him as he navigates his flatboat over dams, past currents, and through shallow water. Sail with him to the bustling port of New Orleans and back to his home up north. Along the way, you'll share his deepest thoughts and witness his struggle with the pressing ethical question of his day—whether slavery should be abolished. You'll come to understand how Abraham Lincoln grew from a naïve, idealistic teenager into one of the greatest, most passionate thinkers the United States has ever known. Neil Waldman relied on primary resources to tell the story of young Abe Lincoln. His well-researched illustrations in watercolors, acrylics, pencil, and pen and ink offer a moving portrait of Lincoln and his times.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Adam Levin
"A young man finds himself of an age to be dismissed from parental control; he has for his capital nothing save two strong hands that God has given him, a heart willing to labor, and a freedom to choose the mode of his work." It is with these words, written by Abraham Lincoln as a young man in 1831, that Waldman sets the tone for his portrayal of Lincoln as an individual developing his own views on slavery. Waldman's book uses quotes from Lincoln's own writings and mixes them with Waldman's interpretations, based on extensive studies of Lincoln's speeches and journals, of how Lincoln himself might have told the story of his days working on the Mississippi River. The book seeks to explain how Lincoln's own experiences as a worker earning his own living led to his contempt for slavery. Lincoln firmly believed that whatever one works for should be his to keep, regardless of skin color, and that every person should be free to decide for himself or herself how they want to make a living. By telling the story through a first person narrative that recounts three voyages Lincoln took to New Orleans by way of the Mississippi, Waldman is able to effectively convey Lincoln's thoughts. Although the book would be aided by the inclusion of more of Lincoln's own words, Waldman is able to break down Lincoln's aversion to slavery into simple, yet convincing, terms. When the reader comes to the story of Lincoln's encounter with a slave auction and his own sense of shame at not stepping in to break up the activity, it is nearly impossible not to feel a great sense of pride in this brave American leader. Reviewer: Adam Levin
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

Primary sources serve as the foundation for these short, fictionalized stories of Lincoln's life. The first chapter tells of his earning money by building a flatboat and carrying two men and their luggage to a steamer on the Ohio River. Floating down the Mississippi River to New Orleans is the basis of the second and third chapters and recounts Lincoln's developing and deepening antislavery sentiments. The narratives are what Lincoln "might have said." His actual words are designated by brown text. It is hoped that young readers will understand this distinction. The art is the highlight of the book. Soft, muted brown-toned drawings portray topics relating to the stories, including Lincoln as a boy and young man, river scenes, and the brutality of slavery. Beautifully rendered, they elegantly illustrate the fictionalized tales. Librarians and classroom teachers would best utilize this book in conjunction with other material to present a more thorough story.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL

Kirkus Reviews
Imagine finding an old journal in the attic, a journal with pages worn and brown with age and written by Abraham Lincoln. That's the feeling readers will have when they pick up this handsome volume that tells the story of young Abraham Lincoln's voyages up and down the Mississippi, his pride at earning money by his own "honest labor" and his horror at witnessing slaves being taken to auction in New Orleans. Waldman read Lincoln's speeches and studied his writing style in order to approximate the first-person voice for this work, and he indicates in brown italics his occasional use of Lincoln's actual words. Verisimilitude stops with the subtitle, however, since Lincoln detested the nickname "Abe" and always went by Abraham. The narrative is slight, but the art is striking, images rendered in watercolor, pen and ink, pencil and acrylic contributing to the antique appearance of the volume. A good match with Candace Fleming's description of these events in The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary (2008). (author's note, annotated sources) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784716
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 10 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Waldman has written and illustrated more than fifty books. He is the recipient of the Christopher Award and the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in White Plains, New York.

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