HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Abraham Lincoln’s World 1809-1865, Expanded Edition
Author: Genevieve Foster
Illustrator: Joanna Foster
Publisher: Beautiful Feet Books, republished 2003
Related website: http://www.bfbooks.com (publisher)
Language level: 3 (the “d” word is found a couple of times in quotations)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level:
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Foster, Genevieve. Abraham Lincoln’s World 1809-1865, Expanded Edition (originally published in 1944 by Scribner; republished in 2003 by Beautiful Feet Books, 1306 Mill St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401). Who was the United States’ greatest President? Many people would quickly answer, “Abraham Lincoln.” This 1945 Newbery Honor Title, originally published in 1944, is not just a biography of Lincoln, but an example of author Genevieve Foster’s masterful display of “horizontal history” by telling the story of world events in the geo-political sphere, while giving as much importance to advances in science, medicine, music, literature, and exploration, all centered around the life of a specific individual. After a short introduction about Lincoln’s background and birth, the five main sections explain what was going on in the world while Abe Lincoln was a boy romping the woods of Kentucky, while he was helping his father chop wood in Indiana, while he was keeping shop in New Salem, while he was a lawyer in Springfield, and while he served as President, with snippets of Lincoln’s activities woven in.
Foster once wrote, “Nothing is more critical, I believe, than that children growing up in these critical explosive days should be given an understanding of American history as a part of the history of the world.” Abraham Lincoln’s World would serve as an invaluable aid to any student’s study of the times in which Lincoln lived. And the book makes the information interesting to read because it presents the events in story form instead of a dry, dusty list of facts. The new expanded edition includes additional material provided by the author’s daughter, Joanna Foster. Other Newbery Honor Books by Genevieve Foster are George Washington’s World (1942), George Washington (1950), and Birthdays of Freedom, Vol. 1 (1953). Other similar books by the same author include Augustus Caesar’s World: A Story of Ideas and Events from B.C. 44 to 14 A.D. (1947), The World of Captain John Smith (1959), The World of Columbus and Sons (1965), and The World of William Penn (1973).