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Lincoln's Grave Robbers Hardcover – January 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545405726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545405720
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9-Lively dialogue and a fascinating narrative make this an entertaining read. A true-crime thriller set in 1876, the story involves Secret Service agents on the trail of counterfeiters who hoped to spring their leader from jail by holding the body of President Abraham Lincoln for ransom. The men involved included "Big Jim" Kennally, the mastermind behind the plot; Terrence Mullen; and Benjamin Boyd. Among the lawmen are James Brooks, chief of the Secret Service, and agents Patrick Tyrrell and Elmer Washburn. The account of the body-snatching plot is interwoven with the presidential election of 1876 between candidates Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden. There is also information about Mary Todd Lincoln and her son, Robert, who was a prominent Chicago attorney at the time. Readers also learn about the workings of the association in Springfield that operated the Lincoln Tomb. The book includes a glossary of phrases used in the dialogue. Readers will be entertained by the animated writing style, which creates a real page-turner, and learn history at the same time. An essential addition for all collections.-Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Collegesα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

With a title uniting two highly popular topics—Abraham Lincoln and ghoulish crime—this is sure to pique the interest of many readers, and Sheinkin’s gripping narrative will hold them to the thrilling climax. In 1876, a group of Chicago counterfeiters hatched a half-baked plan to remove President Lincoln’s corpse from its resting place near Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for ransom. Although there was minimum security at the grave site and little to prevent the thieves from carrying out their dastardly scheme, the fledgling Secret Service was onto them (more for their counterfeit operations than their grave-robbing conspiracy), and their plans were foiled in the nick of time. While describing this small episode, Sheinkin weaves in information about the formation of the Secret Service, the history of counterfeit operations, presidential campaigns and elections, and much more. Excellent pacing within an appealing format. Photo elements were not available for review. Grades 5-8. --Randall Enos

More About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several exciting books on American history for young adults. His newest book, THE PORT CHICAGO 50, is a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His 2012 title BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD AND STEAL THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON, was awarded a Newbery Honor, won the Sibert Medal, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His book THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD won both the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. Other recent titles are LINCOLN'S GRAVE ROBBERS, a true-crime thriller, and the RABBI HARVEY series of graphic novels. Steve lives with his family in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Customer Reviews

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This book is a great book for children and History buffs!
Anthony J.
Steve Sheinkin has a fantastic writing style, keeping the tone more conversational, a great contrast to the text books I’m used to reading.
Woodland Park Writer
The book is intriguing and keeps you guessing to the outcome until the very end which is exactly what I want in a great story!
Dad of Divas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dad of Divas TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My daughter is totally into the US Presidents and Lincoln is one of her favorites (Mine too). This fictionalized story was so intriguing and the author has done an amazing job at transporting you not only into the story itself but beyond that into the time and era for which the story is set. The book is intriguing and keeps you guessing to the outcome until the very end which is exactly what I want in a great story! What I loved about the story itself was the intricate plot and planning that takes place to pull such a crime off, as well as seeing the inner workings of the Secret Service (at least in how they worked supposedly back then). All-in-all this was a great book that will leave you on the edge of your seat, and you will find that you do not want to put the book down!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ionia Martin TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin was not only an educational read, but an entertaining one at that. I realize that this book was market for kids ten and over, but I felt it might be a little bit advanced for most at age ten. Some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced and there are a few morbid, although historical, descriptions.

Otherwise, this was excellent. I even learned quite a few things I hadn't known before, such as the original purpose of the CIA, and the problem with fake money being distributed in the late 1800's.

The setup and background history for how the plot to steal Lincoln's body does take up a large portion of the book, but I found that made it easier to understand why someone would want to become a grave robber. Rather than just pointing out who did it and what they hoped to accomplish, the author gives a real history of the criminals and what kind of people they were.

I liked that the information was presented in a relaxed format that was fun to read. This book didn't feel so much like a text book as it did a conversation with an intelligent person.

I think older children would benefit from reading this book, and even adults who like American history or are interested in Lincoln.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Woodland Park Writer on March 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself spacing out in my American History class. Don’t get me wrong, I love history and America, but sometimes it’s hard to listen to my teacher or read an unenthusiastic text book that tells you point blank what happened and when. I want to know the why, and that is exactly what “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers” gave me.

This book was riddled with complex back stories and surprising motives that drove the unbelievable story and made it a page turner. In simpler terms, it was exciting! I loved reading about the crazy plot of a man who lost his biggest asset in the counterfeiting business that plagued the US in the late 1800’s. Plus, it was a story I didn’t already know from my history class, so it kept me guessing right up ‘till the end.

Steve Sheinkin has a fantastic writing style, keeping the tone more conversational, a great contrast to the text books I’m used to reading. He switched focus between the main characters, giving different perspectives to explain the situations unfolding, and did so in a way that kept the story exciting. I felt like I was watching a T.V. show or movie, exceeding my expectations and eliminating my fear of a boring textbook like story. Sheinkin also threw in incredibly witty and hilarious comments when explaining things every once and while that had me laughing out loud. (That’s right, “lol”ing.)

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read that keeps you interested the entire time. It’s a piece of history that most people don’t know about, but should. The story it’s self is funny, how the pieces fall into place is incredible, and it’s all true!
I asked myself when picking up “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers”, “Who thinks that thieving Abraham Lincoln’s body is a good solution to any problem?” Well, you’ll have to read the book, because it’s just about as ridiculous as it sounds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Golliday on June 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 11 year old son found this book to me compelling and could not put the book down. Every summer we require our son to read one book a week and this one was read in 3 days. He thoroughly enjoyed it and is a fan of history. I am a Lincoln historian myself and found this book to be mostly accurate. There are a few issues but overall the book is well written and enjoyed by my son and I . Steve Sheinken did a superb job of capturing the characters is such a way that my son could not put the book down. But more importantly it sparked a conversation between my son and I about the events. He spend long hours discussing the events and why the people did what they did. Nice job Steve.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gorelenore on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Background: This is a historical recount of the attempt of a group of counterfeiters to rob the grave of Abraham Lincoln. The attempt was to use the corpse of Lincoln to require ransom of the government which included a man's freedom from jail and money for the group.

Review: This was a very educational read. The book is said to be for ages 10-14 and I think that some at the age of 10 may get a little confused by it's wordings of the events, but otherwise the history is interesting. I think as a kid I would like to learn about grave robbers and fake money and this book had all of that. It was real events presented in en educational but fun way.

I learned a lot about Lincoln's family, counterfeiting during the period, and about the attempts to steal Lincoln. I even shared a few random facts with my husband. I think the age group the book is meant for will want to do the same and I think if more school lessons were taught in this fun manner more kids would enjoy history class.

My ARC had a bunch of picture placeholders, so I assume the hardcopy includes more images for the readers to reference throughout and there was also a glossary of the terminology used in the book/ time period.
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