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Lincoln: A Photobiography (Houghton Mifflin social studies) Paperback – September 25, 1989

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Editorial Reviews Review

This work is perhaps the most complete and enjoyable children's book ever written about one of the nation's most fascinating and important figures, Abraham Lincoln. Russell Freedman covers Lincoln's life and career in a balanced treatment that is enhanced by period photographs and drawings. The book won the Newbery Medal, the Jefferson Cup Award and the Golden Kite Honor Book Award, and earned a citation as School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

From Publishers Weekly

This Newbery Award-winning study of our 16th president is highly readable and meticulously organized. In a boxed review, PW hailed it as a "superb, encompassing account" of "an intriguing, recognizable human being." Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
  • Series: Houghton Mifflin social studies
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 25, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395518482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395518489
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for LINCOLN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City and travels widely to research his books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
A small unimposing masterpiece. It is interesting to me that the photograph chosen for the cover of this book should show Lincoln without his usual beard and stovepipe hat. I like to believe that maybe the author chose this photo himself, perhaps to make people think a little differently about Lincoln from the start. I have nothing for praise for this biography, by the way. The facts are interspersed with the excellent details of Lincoln's life growing up. Freedman has the ability to mingle the times in which Abe lived his life in such a way that the readers hardly notice how well they've become acquainted with the setting before the Civil War arrives. This book is so readable and such a good length that I can see children actually enjoying reading it on their own. Admittedly, this may not often happen, but it's wonderful to read a book that even gives them the option. "Lincoln: A Photobiography" would teach especially well to large groups of kids and would pair nicely with Ruby Bridges's, "Through My Eyes", giving kids a real sense of the history of African-American civil rights.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lincoln, A Photobiography, is an excellent source of information and images regarding Abraham Lincoln. Its wealth of pictures tell much about this secretive man who rarely shared his innermost thoughts and feelings.
This book and its contents are based on Freedman's exceptional compilation of photographs, letters, and drawings concerning Lincoln's life and times. Each image is woven into an eloquent account of Abraham Lincoln's world and the issues surrounding him. This book should be on every school library's shelf as it has so many wonderful pictures and other images both common and rare regarding Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.
At the end of the book, Freedman offers a "Lincoln Sampler" containing some of the president's famous quotes. Civil War scholars as well as those researching the topic will see that this book holds both pictures and words that bring our 16th president to life.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lincoln: a Photobiography
By Russell Freedman
"A spider of a boy" they called him. Throughout Lincoln's life he was known as a tall, bony legged man. Although he claimed he had forgotten his childhood, historians say he was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12,1809. His parents, Thomas and Nancy named him after his pioneer grandpa who had been killed by Indians while harvesting his crops. After many years Thomas Lincoln, who was a farmer, decided to move the family to Indiana. This was, as Lincoln said, " The hardest experience of my life." Abe and his sister Sarah attended a small one-room cabin school two miles away from their home. This was the only formal schooling he had. When Abe was nine his mother, uncle and aunt all came down with the so-called "milk sickness" and died weeks later. A year went by until Thomas found another wife. He married Sarah Bush Lincoln who was a great housekeeper and took very good care of Lincoln and his sister. She also brought her three children to live with them. Lincoln learned to work hard at an early age. Later during his presidency he said, "Work, work, work is the main thing." After that, Lincoln decided to look for work in New Orleans and then New Salem, Illinois. In New Salem, Lincoln studied law and decided to run for the state legislature. He lost but then ran again when he was 25 and became the second highest vote getter in the state so he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. At the age of 30, he moved to Springfield and met the love of his life, Mary Ann Todd. They were engaged soon after they met but called the wedding off after Mary's sister did not approve of the marriage.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Dollen on February 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my son's 11th birthday. He's always been interested in President Lincoln because they have the same birthday (albeit different years!). This book was the last present he opened - after the gameboy, the new game, and several other books. The gameboy went on the table and the book came out. He read for nearly an hour, occasionally stopping to fill me in on tidbits from the book. The book is very interesting reading, even for adults, and is written in such a way to capture the reader's interest from the beginning. I would highly recommend it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on July 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Russell Freedman has done a masterful job with this Lincoln biography, primarily intended for younger readers. Though touted as a "photobiography," there are not an abundance of Lincoln photos, though there is an excellent assortment of photographs of the time period, as well as pictures of his wife and children. The Lincoln portraits that are printed are among the greatest Brady albumen's ever taken of a prominent person, and show Lincoln's world-weary countenance in the face of the raging storm of the Civil War.
Freedman writes well and he focuses on Lincoln as an individual. I was pleased to see so much space devoted to Lincoln's complex relationship with Mary Todd, the woman who became his wife. The adversity this couple endured is sobering: the loss of Eddie and Willie at young ages, Lincoln's melancholia and spells of profound depression, as well as the strains of the Presidency. Who can imagine the torment of trying to keep a nation together while millions of American boys died in combat? The strain Lincoln endured is beyond imagination. Freedman tries to have the young reader put themselves in Lincoln's shoes. This is an instructive technique. Freedman also devotes considerable time to Lincoln's special father-son relationship with Tad, and his account of the assassination is excellent.
Readers of all ages can glean something from this book, but the target age range would be from 10-15. For young people first starting to learn about Lincoln, look no farther than here. This is a first-rate example of biography for the younger audience.
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