President’s Day is coming up soon and there’s a new batch of books about our 16th President just in time! From a read aloud about the 11-year-old who inspired Abe to grow a beard to an exciting account of the end of the Civil War, these new books for kids are worth a teacher’s time and money.
Abe Lincoln’s Dream By Lane Smith
From the author of It’s a Book and Madam President comes this story of a little girl who meets Abe Lincoln’s ghost. While on a tour of the White House, she slips off and finds herself in the Lincoln bedroom, where she makes friends with the ghost of the president. He hasn’t been out of the White House in a long while so together they set off across the country to show Lincoln how the country has changed since 1865. The illustrations are playful and expressive. It’s a great book with which to begin a study of Lincoln. After you read it as a class, record their observations and questions on a piece of chart paper. Then after you research and read more deeply about Abraham Lincoln, reread the story and students will be amazed at their deeper understanding. (Grades 1–6).
By Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman
Lincoln’s Last Days is a juvenile adaptation of conservative historian Bill O’Reilly’s 2011 history book for adults. It is written like a historical thriller and tells the story of the end of Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln in a breathless, dramatic way. Your students with a strong interest in history likely won’t be able to put it down. The book is packed with period photographs, illustrations, and maps. It’s a strong resource for teachers who do a unit on the Civil War or for the school library.
By Steve Metzger and Ann Kronheimer
In 1860, then presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln received a letter from 11-year-old Grace Bedell. She wrote to Lincoln that he “would look a great deal better” with a beard and furthermore she would encourage her four older brothers to vote for him if he grew one. As we know, Lincoln took her advice. This sweet picture book tells the story of how a little girl influenced a president. It’s a great President’s Day read-aloud for younger students and older students who are researching Lincoln will enjoy it too. (Grades 1–4).
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers By Steve Sheinkin
This high-interest title tells the true story of an attempt to rob the grave of Abraham Lincoln and hold his body ransom for $200,000 and the release of a man from jail. A macabre crime thriller perhaps, but it may just have appeal for your reluctant readers as well as your voracious ones! The high point occurs when the robbers and lawmen collide at Lincoln’s tomb at midnight on election night! (Grades 4-8).