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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Lincoln’s Birthday is coming

A team of 6th grade teachers came by to ask if we owned anything on Abraham Lincoln. There have been so many new titles this year. What can I show them beyond the others on display? How about these three? 

Abraham Lincoln Comes Home by Robert Burleigh with paintings by Wendell Minor. Henry Holt & Company. 2008 Before TV and streaming news video provided non-stop coverage of presidents, how did citizens get involved? Abraham Lincoln Comes HomeThis beautifully illustrated book excels in night scenes as a father and son travel to silently wait beside the train tracks to pay their respect as Abraham Lincoln’s body travels home to Illinois.  I appreciated the details on the engine Nashville that was one of many that carried Lincoln home on the 13 day journey. This title helps students imagine a non virtually-connected/electronic world.
Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship by Nikki Giovanni with illustrations by Bryan Collier. Henry Holt & Company. 2008 With details comparing the lives of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, this title Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendshiphighlights one meeting between the two during the second Inaugural Reception. I appreciate Bryan Collier’s rxplanations of placement of the action in each scene, but I found the text to be the strength here. There is a teacher’s guide on the web which explores the lyrical text.  
200 Years with Abraham Lincoln: One Man’s Life and Legacy by Helen Koutras Bozonelis. Enslow. 2008 This title may be my favorite of the three. It has breadth and depth. The information will last longer than during one year of celebrating. Older students are willing to pick this up to read and research while teachers are reading the previous two titles to classes. In 64 pages this title includes photographs, memorabilia, quotations, and side bars to keep interest high. The layout is clean and the text reads well. Many of the important highlights of Lincoln’s life are included. Overall, this was a very satisfying read for an introduction to Lincoln.

Have you signed up for the ALBC National Teach-in?  Organized with and broadcasted live from the National Archives in Washington, DC, this special ALBC event features Lincoln scholars, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Matthew Pinsker and Harold Holzer, sharing their expertise and answering students questions from all over the country. Tune-in and view this LIVE webcast online at

Teachers, students, and families can also find enrichment resources and study guides which may be used at any time and/or can help prepare for the event.

ALBC National Teach-in
Thursday, February 12, 2009
1:30 PM EST
Live at National Archives – Washington, DC

Sign up now at

Learn more about the Bicentennial celebrations happening around the nation at