Lincoln: A Photobiography

This may be an odd choice as a rockin’ kids book, but my kids enjoyed it.  All four of them.  (Of course, my kids adore museums too, which makes them a tad geeky – but that’s just fine with me!)

So what book deserves that qualifier?  Lincoln: a Photobiography by Russell Freedman.  I think my kids inherited their love of history from my dad, and my youngest especially loves to read about the Civil War and President Lincoln.  I’ve read the book aloud to my children – twice.  And I’ve enjoyed it.

Freedman writes an interesting biography of Lincoln, covering his life from a small boy in Kentucky through to his war-torn presidency and his assassination.  I really loved two things about this book: first, the fascinating quotes at the beginning of each chapter; and second, the photos.

I was amazed with the quotes and how well they fit the part of Lincoln’s life covered in that chapter.  All the quotes are from Lincoln himself.  As an added bonus, Freedman included several pages of quotes at the back of the book – quotes from letters, speeches, and diaries.  Some are funny, some are profound – all are worth reading.

The pictures are really what make this book stand out.  Freedman took the time, and considerable effort, to find pictures of Lincoln and his life – some familiar, and most not.  My children and I frequently paused in our reading to study the pictures of Lincoln’s boys, Mary Todd Lincoln, a picture of Lincoln’s father, and a series of portraits of Lincoln taking throughout his presidency.  That photo spread clearly shows the strain of the war in Lincoln’s face.

Children who love history and children fascinated by the Civil War will appreciate this biography of Lincoln.  It’s not too long to read aloud – a little at a time, and not too in depth for middle-school-aged children and older to read to themselves.

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