One-Minute Book Reviews

February 16, 2008

A Great Presidents’ Day Book for 8-to-12-Year-Olds: Russell Freedman’s ‘Lincoln’

If the children’s department of your public library has put up a Presidents’ Day display, it probably includes Russell Freedman’s Lincoln: A Photobiography (Clarion, 160 pp., $20). And well it should. In this innovative book Freedman marries the picture-book and chapter-book forms to create a dynamic portrait of Abraham Lincoln that deals extensively with his youth and early adulthood but also covers his presidency and the Civil War. First published in 1987, Lincoln: A Photobiograpy was one of the most acclaimed books of children’s nonfiction of the 1980s, when it won the 1988 Newbery Medal and “Best Books of the Year” honors from School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Freedman has also written other excellent nonfiction books for tweens discussed in an earlier post (which recommended them for 9-to-12-year-olds, though they may appeal to some younger children who are strong readers).

(c) 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. This book was so deserving of the Newbery Medal. I love Freedman’s books, I guess because I love photography. This book is especially good because Lincoln and the Civil War were among the first historical subjects for improved photographic techniques.

    Comment by speedytexaslibrarian — February 16, 2008 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  2. It really was deserving. The Newbery medals often seem to go to “B/B-plus” books — not bad but not as good as you’d have liked. This one gets an “A” from me.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — February 17, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

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