Gr 5-8 A ``what if'' novel that covers the months before Abraham Lincoln's assassination, as seen through the eyes of young Vinnie Ream (later Vinne Ream Hoxie), the sculptor of the statue of Lincoln that is in the Capitol rotunda. In Brenner's novel, Vinnie has won the opportunity to do a bust of the President in early 1865. Every day she goes to the Oval Office, where Lincoln sits for her. She soon uncovers a plot to assassinate her hero, and in the nick of time, stops Booth in the act at Ford's Theater. The illustrations, which resemble woodcut engravings, lend a period touch to the work. Unfortunately, the title is misleading, as the focus of the book is on Vinnie's imagined heroics; Brenner only glosses over projections of what would have happened had Lincoln lived. This book should provoke questions from young readers. Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, Tenn.