Friday, February 13, 2009

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary

Written by Candace Fleming
Most enjoyed by 5th through 8th graders

We're so fortunate here at Zion to be welcoming author Candace Fleming for a school visit today. Ms. Fleming is the author of a new book about Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln called 'The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at at Abraham and Mary'. The book recently won an NCTE Orbus Pictus Honor Award for best non-fiction for younger readers. The award is well-deserved. If you take the time to browse through the book, I think you'll find it's a hard one to put down.

'The Lincolns' presents alternating looks at Abraham and Mary, beginning with their childhoods, then progressing to their marriage, Abraham's legal and political careers, his presidency, and assassination. It ends with Mary's story, how she struggled to continue with her life after tragically losing her husband and eventually, three of her four sons. Along the way, you meet the people that touched their lives - Abraham's step -mother who made sure he had books to read; Mary's boarding school teacher whose flamboyant behaviour influenced her young student; Lincoln's cabinet members and his earliest friends. We see how both were shaped by the events taking place around them, while influencing those events as well.

What makes this book so readable is that you don't have to read the whole thing from start to finish to learn about Abraham and Mary. Got 15 minutes before your favorite TV show starts? Open the book and read about Lincoln's first store in New Salem. Ten minutes to go until lights out for bedtime? Read about Mary's love of fine clothes and how she was an extravagant shopper. By using the scrapbook format, Ms. Fleming has made a book so readable, so fascinating, it's hard to put down. Loaded with pictures, newspaper clippings, and cartoons from the time period, each page draws you into the Lincolns' story.

This year, we're celebrating Lincoln's 200th birthday so Ms. Fleming's book couldn't come at a better time. Read a bit of 'The Lincolns' every day and learn more about this fascinating couple that played such a big role in our history!

No comments: