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For Young Readers

For Young Readers: Books on Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and More

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By Abby McGanney Nolan
Sunday, February 1, 2009


A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary

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By Candace Fleming

Schwartz & Wade. $24.99 (ages 10 to 14)

Offering an admirable balance of the private and the public, Candace Fleming's joint history of Abraham and Mary Lincoln gives young readers a palpable sense of the 19th century. With its old-style typeface, plentiful period photographs, maps and documents, and well-chosen stories, the book reveals both the opportunities and the immense stresses faced by these two remarkable individuals. Organized in short sections that are roughly chronological and wonderfully designed, Fleming's text moves easily between husband and wife, so that, for instance, readers first learn about the president's impressive cabinet appointments and then get Mary's judgment: Secretary of State Cameron, for one, was "an utter thief." The end of their story is certainly sorrowful, but Fleming's informative, illuminating scrapbook is full of life.


A President's Life Remembered

By Barry Denenberg, Illustrated by Christopher Bing

Feiwel and Friends. $24.95 (ages 9 and up)

This oversized book, extra-tall and trim like Lincoln, is presented as a newspaper's commemorative edition on the first anniversary of his assassination. It's a novel idea, well-executed with a mixture of archival materials, meticulous period-style illustrations by Christopher Bing and a sprinkling of would-be advertising. Like Fleming's book, it contains an engaging narrative about Lincoln's childhood, his unlikely rise to the presidency, and his conduct of the Civil War, but it's a less intimate, more heroic version of history.


How the North Used the Telegraph, Railroads, Surveillance Balloons, Iron-Clads, High-Powered Weapons, and More to Win the Civil War

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