Abraham – Frank Keating, Author; Mike Wimmer, Illustrator

     Abraham – Frank Keating, Author; Mike Wimmer, Illustrator; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442493193; 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.

What did you like about the book? I appreciated that Frank Keating deeply explored (more than two-thirds of the book) Lincoln’s pre-presidential career, with wonderful illustrations of his simple beginnings. By understanding his humble origins, striving always for education and independent learning, being moved by observing injustices as a child, greeting, meeting and communicating with everyone, the value of hard work, etc. the reader gets a profound sense of how Abraham’s adult work was rooted in his childhood values.  The rich, detailed illustrations are truly works of art, that draw the reader further into Abe’s life by observing the many different people and places around him. We quietly observed the Civil War and its devastating horrors, through Abe’s “better angel” desire for freedom and unity for the country. Ending with “The Gettysburg Dedication” was a profound way to further explain Lincoln and his life to young readers, in hopes the lessons of history are never forgotten. 

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Children will simply observe the flying Confederate Flag in the battle scene, but adult readers may further explain to young readers the historical consequences of this political symbol up to the present, focusing on “with malice toward none”.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Parent and children studying American history, particularly if they plan to visit Gettysburg, or any Civil war site. Elementary social studies/history teachers. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, values based educator and parents

Where would you shelve it?  Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 

Date of review: March 14, 201

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