Though the angry, fist-waving figure on the cover might seem strange, this nonfiction children's book actually does a fair job of presenting Lincoln and his times. Beginning with Lincoln's hardscrabble youth, the narrative then shows him making his mark as a lawyer and politician, and gradually uniting his aversion to slavery with a passion to keep America together. It doesn't neglect Lincoln's underlying personal sadness, including his fits of terrible depression. During the Civil War, the book's focus naturally shifts from the president to the battlefield, but is guided by Lincoln's steady search for the right general to end the bloodshed. Eventually, the story views Lincoln from a distance, as lurking John Wilkes Booth draws nearer to the moment of assassination. As in most of these historical graphic stories, the words count more than the art; the writers get full credit while the artist's contribution is secondary. However, when many of the words are eloquent quotes from Lincoln and his contemporaries, that's not a grave drawback. Illustrator Lacey uses his limited space effectively, showing a wide range of emotions to present the complexities of the story and its players. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.