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Lincoln for Kids Booklist

"...The Long and Short of It": Teaching Your Child About How Great (and Funny) Lincoln Was

There are over 15,000 books written about Lincoln, so which ones are appropriate for and interesting to school-aged kids? This list should help you in your pursuit! List created and annotated by Camille, Parent Outreach Librarian.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden

I think this book about a boy who feels a kinship with the sixteenth president really gets across the message that despite the fact that he came from a poor background and wasn’t born with the best of looks, Abraham Lincoln succeeded in becoming a great man because he worked hard towards the life he wanted.

For older-elementary schoolers to read on their own or for parents to share with their younger ones.

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Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman

Along with Kalman’s beautiful and brightly colored illustrations are all the essential facts about Lincoln’s life and deeds. But what makes this book extra special, are the opportunities for discussion, further research and imagination to fill in the gaps and answer the questions about Lincoln. This book might lead your child to become the next Lincoln scholar!

For all ages really, but I think younger-elementary schoolers would find it particularly interesting.

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Abe Lincoln's Dream by Lane Smith

Does Lincoln’s ghost haunt the White House? In this book he does, and a little girl decides to show him all that he’s missed by being cooped up in the “Executive Mansion” since 1865. Don’t worry: There’s nothing scary about this ghost story. It is just a really well illustrated vision of how Lincoln’s dream helped this country to grow.

For all ages, but I think younger-elementary schoolers would find it particularly fun.

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Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek by Deborah Hopkinson

You never hear about Lincoln’s friends, but he did have at least one. Here’s a tale about his childhood playmate, Austin, and their astounding adventures one day on Knob Creek. This book is written in an oral tradition style that incorporates lots of humor, reader interaction and a moral, so it is really fun to read aloud.

For all ages, but I think younger-elementary schoolers would find it particularly fun.

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Abe's Honest Words by Doreen Rappaport

Kadir Nelson is a pretty amazing illustrator, who alternates these pages with big expression-full faces and sweeping detailed scenes. Right next to these beautiful illustrations are Lincoln’s actual words and the author's very good outline of the life of Lincoln and the work he did. This is another good introduction to Lincoln for all ages.

For all ages.

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Lincoln Tells a Joke by Kathleen Krull

Lincoln’s life and presidency wasn’t easy, but he got through it with tenacity and humor. This book is about the power of words, which can uplift or be the honey that helps the medicine go down. If you have a young, aspiring writer or stand-up comedian in your life, this is a great book to share with them.

For older-elementary and middle schoolers.

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Abe's Fish by Jennifer Bryant

This book tells a story from Lincoln’s childhood about a day spent fishing followed by an encounter with a worn-down solider on the road home. But really the story’s sentiments linger on the early formation of Lincoln’s thoughts on freedom and its pursuit. The author’s notes are very helpful to answer some questions that might come up after reading the book.

For older-elementary and middle schoolers to read on their own or for parents to share with their younger ones.

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The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln by Mike Reiss

This is a funny book about, well, about a boy who looked like Lincoln and his adventures in school and summer camp. I highly recommend you read this book as a funny departure from any serious Lincoln learning. Your child will appreciate the levity!

For younger-elementary schoolers, but all ages will enjoy.