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Lincoln's Legacy (Blast to the Past) Paperback – January 1, 2005
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About the Author
Stacia Deutsch is the author of more than fifty children’s books, including the eight-book, award-winning chapter book series Blast to the Past. She has also written the tween novel Mean Ghouls as well as books for the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and The Boxcar Children series. Stacia has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the novelizations of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Smurfs movies. For new releases and school visit information visit StaciaDeutsch.com.
Rhody Cohon does all the research and editing for the Blast to the Past series. She has a master’s degree in computer engineering. Rhody lives with her family in Tuscon, Arizona.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Every Monday, Mr. Caruthers came to class late.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, he’d be waiting in the classroom before the bell rang. But never on Monday. There was something strange about Mondays.
And today was Monday.
When I entered the classroom, Maxine Wilson was already sitting at her table.
“Hey, Abigail,” she greeted me. I always liked Maxine. We’d known each other since kindergarten.
“Are you ready?” I asked her.
“I’m always ready on Mondays.” Maxine had a stopwatch.
The school bell was the signal.
Maxine pressed the little black button on her watch. “Go!” she shouted, and we all rushed to our seats.
Everyone sat silently, staring at the classroom door. No one dared look away. Not even for a second.
Maxine kept track of the time. “Four minutes, forty-nine seconds,” she announced.
The whole class always chanted the last ten seconds out loud together: “Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.” The door swung open.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” Mr. Caruthers apologized as he entered the classroom. We waited patiently while Mr. Caruthers straightened his crumpled suit jacket. Retied his bow tie. Combed his hair. And finally, pushed up his glasses.
Every Monday, Mr. Caruthers was late. Every Monday, he was wrinkled and messy. But it didn’t matter to us, the third-grade kids in classroom 305. Monday was our favorite day of the week. And Mr. Caruthers was our favorite teacher.
“Abigail,” Jacob whispered, leaning over to me. “What do you think his question will be today?”
I shrugged and said softly, “I have no idea.”
Jacob turned to ask his brother Zack the same thing. Jacob and Zack were twins. They lived next door to me. And they were my table partners. Zack said he didn’t know either. A new kid named Roberto Rodriguez also sat at our table. But he didn’t talk much, so Jacob didn’t bother to ask him.
Mr. C finished straightening his clothes and leaned back on the edge of his desk. He was too cool to sit in a chair like other teachers.
“What if,” he began, and then paused. I sat up a little straighter. Every Monday, Mr. Caruthers asked us a new “what if” question. So far, my favorite questions were “What if Thomas Edison had quit and never invented the lightbulb?” and “What if Clara Barton had quit and never started the American Red Cross?”
I loved thinking up answers to Mr. C’s questions. And I couldn’t wait for this one.
Mr. C leaned back farther on his desk and finished his question. “What if Abraham Lincoln quit and never issued the Emancipation Proclamation?”
My hand shot up in the air. I didn’t even wait for him to call on me. “What’s the Emancipation Proclamation?” I blurted out. “Why’s it so important?”
“Be patient, Abigail,” Mr. Caruthers said slowly. “All your questions will be answered in good time.”
“But—,” I began. Mr. Caruthers looked at me over the top of his glasses. I put my hand down. It’s really hard to wait when you are as curious as I am.
“Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States,” Mr. Caruthers began. He told us that Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky in 1809. He was a lawyer. His wife’s name was Mary Todd. And in 1860 he was elected president.
I really wanted to raise my hand again. He hadn’t gotten to the Emancipation Proclamation part of the story yet. Struggling to keep quiet, I tucked my fingers under my legs and sat on them.
Mr. C continued telling Abraham Lincoln’s story. “When Abraham Lincoln became president, there were only thirty-four states, not fifty like we have today. There were twenty-three states in the North, and eleven states in the South.” --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Authors: Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon
Illustrator: David Wenzel
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-0 - 689870248
"What if Abraham Lincoln quit and never issued the Emancipation Proclamation?" Mr. Caruthers asked his third grade class in "Blast to the Past #1 Lincoln's Legacy," a children's book written by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon.
With one hundred and four pages, this paperback book is targeted toward ages seven to ten years old, has no profanity and no questionable or scary scenes. Illustrator David Wenzel provides a colorful drawing of Abraham Lincoln being restrained by four children on the front cover. The back cover has two paragraphs about the book and a drawing of Lincoln tipping his hat. Inside there are ten black and white drawings along with a photograph of the well-known painting by F.B. Carpenter. Also included at the end of the book are an explanation by the authors of fact verses fiction, President Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" and "Gettysburg Address" and four sample pages of the next book in the series about Walt Disney.
The main object of this series is to ask young children what if a person in the past did not create, state, make or invent something that changed our lives today but quit instead. This book hones in on our President Abraham Lincoln's speech that freed Southern slaves during the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation.
Told in first person through Abigail, a curious third grader, she is asked by her teacher to stay after class, thinking it was because she was not paying attention. With twins Zack, athletic but a quitter, and Jacob, a computer whiz, and new student and avid reader, Bo, the four students are given a special time-travel computer by Mr. Caruthers. Mr. C challenges them to go back in time and try to convince Lincoln to not quit his presidency but free the slaves. The students go back in time but initially fail their task until they transport Lincoln to a more current time period and show him the progress made from his famous speech. Lincoln finally listens to the children and gives the speech back in 1862, setting the civil rights movement into motion.
In addition to educating children about Lincoln's legacy, this book does an exceptional job of teaching and informing our kids in an enthusiastic way about the past's muddy streets of Washington, the swampy-smelling White House (then called the President's Palace), and Lincoln's persnickety cabinet. Both authors should be thoroughly commended for explaining American history in a charming, fun yet scholastic way. It is so refreshing to see such an instructive, informative book for school-aged students.
How cute is that cover, right?
Every Monday, the teacher asks his class a "What if..?" question and they ponder what the world would be like if a historic event never happened.
In this case what if Lincoln quit as President and never issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
A teacher hand picks students from his class and then sends them back in time to convince Lincoln not to quit and undo the world as we know it.
The "What if..? questions give them something to think about. While the actual adventure the students go on gives the reader a fun (and often funny) story. Complete with history facts along the way.
Have to say loved it.
It was a great book for young readers.
The mood of the book is light and fun yet very engaging. It's a fast read I got through it in one sitting.
The characters were cute and definitely like able.
However, my favourite part about this book was definitely the "What if" questions.
I loved this book and would absolutely recommend it to teachers and parents of young readers.
The story is about a group of third graders who are asked by their teacher "What if Abraham Lincoln never freed the slaves." The group is then blasted to the past because Lincoln is going to quit and the slaves will not be freed and the children are needed to persuade him to not give up. The downside is that they only have 2 hours to accomplish this. Will they be able to do it or will history be forever changed?
This book is a lot of fun to read and there is a little history thrown in there as well which is always good. It's nice when you're children can read a book, enjoy it, and still learn a thing or two from it. I would highly recommend this book and I would absolutely love to read the other books in this series!