Sunday, November 15, 2009

Honest Abe Lincoln.

Adler, David. Honest Abe Lincoln.
Holiday House 2009 32p 15.95 978-0-8234-2057-5 elem
This biography shows us how to interest young readers in learning about Abe Lincoln by combining interesting stories about Lincoln's honesty and sense of humor with information about his life and career as a politician. David Adler did his homework to find interesting stories about Abe Lincoln. Children will undoubtedly enjoy the anecdotes that he found in sources such as "Abe Lincoln's Yarns and Stories." In addition to learning some biographical data about Lincoln, we also learn why he grew a beard, how he saved a pig from mud and how he walked miles to deliver mail to his neighbors. He garnered the title "Honest Abe" throughout his early years due to his unflinching desire to "make things right" such as in the example of how his cash register was wrong at the end of a hard day's work yet Lincoln walked 3 miles to return an overcharge. In another charming story, we learn that Lincoln used his top hat to store the mail. Upon arriving at the recipient's house, Lincoln popped off his hat and handed out the letters! Lincoln wasn't just another honest man. He was a storyteller as well, and Adler shared a stellar example in the chapter entitled, "A Talent for Hunting," in which he tells us about Jake, a local hunter who shot many birds at a time by pretending to be a turnip in the field. Adler combines stories like these with historical references to Lincoln's career showing us how to entice young readers to read nonfiction. The illustrations are lifelike and fun, especially the one with the pig wallowing in mud, yet serious and real, as in the illustration of the assassination at Ford Theater.
The book ends with a list of important dates, Adler's sources, and notes. The reading level is 2.7, but people of all ages will enjoy sharing the information in this book with others. MS

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