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It's Up to You, Abe Lincoln

Review

It's Up to You, Abe Lincoln

IT'S UP TO YOU, ABE LINCOLN is a new biography of Lincoln that is told in an unusual way. In this different type of biography, co-authors Leila and Tom Hirschfeld, who are father and daughter, tell the story of Lincoln by showcasing 10 challenges Lincoln faced in his life and how he handled those challenges. They do this in each chapter by first stating “The Challenge," then presenting “The Backstory" an explanation of how this impasse came to be. Next, they provide four different possible ways Lincoln could answer the challenge. Then comes “The Reveal," where they tell the reader what Lincoln ultimately decided to do, and they follow that up with a section called “The Aftermath” that shows what happened after Lincoln made his choice. And all the while, throughout the book, the authors write like they are talking TO Lincoln and not ABOUT him.

"The text is lively, interesting and fun to read. It is made even more so by the numerous illustrations sprinkled throughout..."

The text is lively, interesting and fun to read. It is made even more so by the numerous illustrations sprinkled throughout and many sidebars titled either “Fun Fact” or “Didya Know?” with additional information that relates in some way to the text.

There are also lots of extras in the back of the book: A family tree called “Abe’s Family”; “A Timeline of Abe’s Life”; a list of the people mentioned in the book with a short blurb about each person, called “Who’s Who”; a list of things that Abe did “first” called “Abe’s Historic Firsts” (for instance, he was the first president to hold a patent); a list of some of the jokes Abe used to tell, called “Abe the Jokester”; excerpts from some of Abe’s speeches, called “Abe the Writer”; a list of some modern-day inventions and ideas and how the writers think Abe would react to them, called “What Would Abe Think?”; two sources for more information --- “Recommended Reading” and “Websites of Interest”; and a list of places that have Abe Lincoln memorabilia, called “Where to ‘Visit’ Abe Today.”

This would be a great addition to any classroom discussion about Abe Lincoln, his life and his legacy.
 

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on December 12, 2018

It's Up to You, Abe Lincoln
by Leila Hirschfeld and Tom Hirschfeld