Lincoln's Grave Robbers (Scholastic Focus)

Lincoln's Grave Robbers (Scholastic Focus)

by Steve Sheinkin


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Lincoln's Grave Robbers (Scholastic Focus) by Steve Sheinkin

The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: grab Lincoln's body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd — and $200,000 in cash. From here, the action alternates between the conspirators, the Secret Service agents on their trail, and the undercover agent moving back and forth between them. Along the way readers get glimpses into the inner workings of counterfeiting, grave robbing, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Service. The plot moves toward a wild climax as robbers and lawmen converge at Lincoln's tomb on election night: November 7, 1876.

A dynamic and thrilling tale from critically acclaimed author Steve Sheinkin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338290134
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 461,124
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the critically acclaimed author of National Book Award Finalist and Sibert Medal winner Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World's Most Dangerous Weapon; Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction; and National Book Award Finalist The Port Chicago 50. He resides in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Read an Excerpt

At ten o'clock that night, Whitley was sitting at the desk in his hotel room, writing up a report. There was a gentle knock on the door.
“Come in,” said the chief.
The door opened. A voice sang out, “Good evening, Colonel!”
Whitley turned to his guest. “McCartney!” he shouted, drawing his revolver. “How are you here?”
“Put up your shootin'-iron, Colonel,” McCartney said. “I merely called to pay my respects. I am going back, of course.”
And McCartney really did walk back to prison. Smiling all the way.
Herman Whitley never did figure out how McCartney got out of jail that night. However he did it, the stunt illustrated a serious challenge facing the U.S. government in the 1870s. The Secret Service was absolutely determined to catch counterfeiters and keep them behind bars. But coney men were just as eager to get free — and they were good at it, too.

Table of Contents

Cast of Characters vi

Prologue: Midnight Escape 1

Chapter 1 The Operative 8

Chapter 2 The Pull 18

Chapter 3 Coney Men vs. the Secret Service 25

Chapter 4 Big Jim 33

Chapter 5 First Try 45

Chapter 6 Boodle Game 66

Chapter 7 Prince of Ropers 75

Chapter 8 The Trap 86

Chapter 9 Last Details 98

Chapter 10 Overnight Train 106

Chapter 11 Election Day 112

Chapter 12 Night at the Monument 122

Chapter 13 Devilish Work 133

Chapter 14 Search Begins 146

Chapter 15 Back to the Hub 156

Chapter 16 Gathering Evidence 166

Chapter 17 Compromise Verdict 176

Epilogue: Final Resting Place? 182

Body Snatcher Bonus Section 199

Glossary of Phrases 208

Source Notes 209

Index 212

Acknowledgments 214

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Lincoln's Grave Robbers 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it was amazing!!! I read it for my US history class and i just could not put it down. Im not much of a reader but this got my attention (which is not that long) haha anyways i read this book in two days and now i have to do a report and i forgot how many pages there are:0 so can someone help me;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 1875,a group of counterfeiters decided to steal President Lincon's body and hold it for ransom!Read.This.Book.Period.Or else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pretty good. It tells the story kind of weird though. It tells it like a story but also says it as facts and it is kind of randomly but put in the correct place. It is suspenseful once you get into it. I would give it 4 1/2 stars if i could.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never knew anyone had tried to steal his grave!! That is so cool! That will be awesome for an abraham lincoln paper
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
So. This is a middle grade book, and I don’t think I realized that when I added it to my TBR. I left it because, darn it, the topic seemed interesting. And it was! Though I Googled it, and MG is ages 8-12 and I don’t know that it’s a good idea for an 8-year-old to read this book. Here’s the scoop. A bunch of counterfeiters wanted to get their buddy out of jail, so one of them decided it would be a good idea to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body and ransom it. Because, obviously, that would be my first thought as well. *eye roll* Anyway, they tried it, and it failed. End of story, right? WRONG. The mastermind put together a new crew to try again. This crew had a snitch, though… so that plan also got royally foiled, in the end. This was an interesting story, but it was definitely a little gruesome at times. That should be expected from any grave robbing or body snatching story, I suppose, but I expected it to be simplified a little more than it is. There are descriptions of Lincoln’s corpse, as they kept checking inside the coffin to make sure he was still here. These descriptions are mostly limited to his face, but still. Dead bodies. Fun stuff. Blech. Otherwise, it was really interesting. At first, I was frustrated by all the asides, but there were some fascinating tidbits in there as well. For example, did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln was institutionalized by her son? I didn’t! There were a lot of little things like that I kept Googling to see if they were over dramatized, and they weren’t. All legit. Simplified sometimes, but facts. All in all, this was an interesting little book. It was only a three hour audiobook, and a good introduction to crime and politics in the late 1800s. I think that mature middle graders could handle it, but make sure your child isn’t easily frightened – the last thing anyone needs is their child having nightmares about a zombie Abe Lincoln.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my 11 year old son who doesn't particularly like to curl up with a good book. He has to read a certain number of non fiction books for the school year. I was so pleased with this book because it kept his interest and he got an A on the follow up test at school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book purchased by the local library where I work. I have always been inspired by Abraham Lincoln. I found this children's book most informative. I even purchased it to give to my 13 year old great nephew for Christmas. I can't wait for him to read it and see what he thinks.
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