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Abraham Lincoln Explored in Historical Biography Mixed with Creative Humor for Young Readers

Updated on February 4, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Explore Abraham Lincoln in Creative Biography with Fun Facts, Illustrations, and Stories of His Presidency

Fun biography for ages 8-12
Fun biography for ages 8-12 | Source

Creative Biography for Young Readers

It is sometimes difficult to find historical biographies that young readers will actually want to pick up and read. Leila and Tom Hirschfeld's It's Up To You, Abe Lincoln is a creatively written biography of this important president in our country's history that is designed for reluctant readers of history. Fun facts about the important decisions that Lincoln made during his presidency, trivia, and amusing black and white illustrations make this a great choice for students ages 8-12.

The book begins with the "back story" of Lincoln's boyhood. The Hirschfelds tell stories about all of the moving that Lincoln did with his family. Young readers will find the fact that Lincoln went barefoot a lot in his boyhood to be interesting. There is a brief description of the loss of his sister. Lincoln's height was very noticeable during his growing years. The story continues when Lincoln grows into a man and becomes president. There is the "back story" of his marriage to Mary Todd. Funny facts of his marriage will amuse readers. Mary Todd was a handful of a wife for our 16th president. The stories of many important presidential decisions are recounted in easy to read text. Each chapter contains many fun facts that are not found in most biographies. Who knew that Lincoln proclaimed our Thanksgiving holiday and started the tradition of pardoning a turkey? There are pages of famous quotes from Lincoln. Insets of trivia and fun facts are featured throughout the book. Black and white illustrations and photos are also featured throughout the book. Examples of speeches are also included.

The Hirschfelds include a fascinating section at the end of the biography of current terms that describe what our world is like a century after Lincoln's death. They wonder what Lincoln would think about antibiotics, nuclear war, men on the moon, and pizza. They wonder what Lincoln would think about video games and karaoke. They also include a list of additional resources for reading about Lincoln and a list of websites for learning about our sixteenth president. A list of places to visit to learn about Lincoln is included.

It's Up To You, Abe Lincoln was published by Crown Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended fora ages 8-12, and has an ISBN of 978-0553-50953-3.

Black and White Illustrations Help Tell the Story of Lincoln

Lincoln and his family
Lincoln and his family | Source
Lincoln had to make hard decisions during his presidency
Lincoln had to make hard decisions during his presidency | Source

Perfect Addition to a Classroom Library

Teachers who teach history for ages 8-12 will want to add Leila and Tom Hirschfeld's It's Up To You, Abe Lincoln to their classroom library. This creative and easy-to-read biography has a wealth of historical information about our important sixteen president. Teachers will find a wealth of curriculum ideas to use when children are introduced to this book.

*Assign this book as a book for students to read individually. Provide students the opportunity to choose their favorite parts of Lincoln's life or presidency to write a report.

*Call attention to the list of "Firsts" that Lincoln was the first president to do during his presidency. Give students the opportunity to choose their favorite "first" and prepare a report to present to their classmates.

*Call attention to the section about Abe the writer. Give students the opportunity to choose their favorite speech or address that Lincoln gave and prepare a report to present to their classmates.

*Call attention to the section of things that the Hirschfelds wonder what Lincoln would think about our country a century after his death. Assign a creative writing project for students to choose one of these things and write about Lincoln's thinking on one of these.

*Call attention to the list of suggested websites to explore in learning about our 16th president. Give students the opportunity to explore these websites to find additional facts about Lincoln.

*Students might like to practice their public speaking skills by presenting one of Lincoln's speeches to their classmates.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt


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