Feb 052016
 February 5, 2016  Book Reviews, Education

In honor of President’s Day, here are some great books about Lincoln and his times to read with your kids, as well as some prompts for writing or discussion.  Lincoln is really one of those great people in history to teach our children about, so prepare to be inspired!

Books to teach children about Lincoln and his times, plus writing prompts

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  I received complimentary copies of the books below from Penguin Books and Wisdom Tales Press for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!  Penguin Books is giving away a boxed set of their Ordinary People Change the World series, so be sure to enter!

Children’s Books about Lincoln

For young readers, I highly recommend I am Abraham Lincoln. In case you haven’t seen this series before, the Ordinary People Change the World series is a wonderful set of biographies for kids that not only teach about the person’s life but also inspire kids to become world changers themselves.  Each book tends to have a theme; I am Abraham Lincoln’s is doing what’s right.  For example, when he was a child, Lincoln stood up to other kids who were treating animals cruelly and bravely faced down a group of bullies.  It is easy to follow this thread through to Lincoln as an adult, fighting against and ultimately abolishing slavery.  This book is simply adorable and really captivates young readers.  My son loves it, including the more detailed biographical information at the back.

A great choice for older kids is President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House by Demi.  It traces Lincoln’s life from his humble beginnings to the White House and finally his assassination.  It covers much of the same territory as I am Lincoln, but in greater detail.  I love the extensive use of actual quotations from Lincoln to describe his early life and to inspire from his speeches.  The tone is a bit more somber at times but joyful at others, reflecting the two threads that ran through his life.  It is ultimately a tale of triumph – of truth and right over wrong.  Includes the full text of the Gettysburg Address, a map of the US in 1861, a timeline of Lincoln’s life, and “Fascinating Facts”: for example, did you know that Lincoln used to keep important papers inside his stovepipe hat?  Or that he is listed in the Wrestling Hall of Fame? Really great book to inform and inspire.

An interesting book to pair with a study of Lincoln is Red Cloud’s War: Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight. While this book is not actually about Lincoln, it is set just one year after the end of the Civil War and his assassination.  It tells about the battle of the Lakota against the US government, which sought to build forts along the Bozeman Trail, which passed through Lakota land.  Told through the eyes of a fictional young Lakota warrior, it is a remarkable story about an episode in US history many of us know little about.  Put in the context of the Civil War and the fight to end slavery, it raises important questions about the nation’s struggle to define itself racially and morally.  This is a beautiful commemorative edition, marking 150 years since Red Cloud’s War and featuring updated text and digitally enhanced artwork.

Prompts for Writing and Discussion

  • Lincoln went to great lengths to seek out books.  What are your favorite books and why?
  • Lincoln read every chance he got, including lying down with his feet propped up on a tree.  Do you have a favorite reading spot?
  • Lincoln stood up for what was right, even if it was difficult.  When is a time that you have stood up for what was right?
  • If I saw a kid being mean to another kid, I would…
  • If I saw someone being mean to an animal, I would…
  • When we do something wrong, it is better to tell the truth because…
  • If I could go back in time and meet Lincoln, I would tell him that…
  • If I could be President, I would…
  • Why was slavery wrong?  How did Lincoln help stop it?
  • Something happening today that I think is wrong is…
  • If I could give a speech, I would say…
  • Why did Red Cloud fight his war?
  • If Red Cloud could travel in time to today, he would think…
  • Why did the US government think it was okay to build forts on the Lakota land?

Giveaway from Penguin Books

Enter to win a boxed set of the Ordinary People Change the World series! Entries are US only, and the giveaway runs from Feb 1 – 29.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  One Response to “Lincoln: Books and Writing Prompts”

  1. […] another in the Ordinary People Change the World series.  (Read our review of their book on Abraham Lincoln!)  These books are extraordinary – adorable, engaging, inspiring, and packed with […]

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