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FINDING LINCOLN by Ann Malaspina


by Ann Malaspina & illustrated by Colin Bootman

Age Range: 5 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8075-2435-0
Publisher: Whitman

“It was 1951 in Alabama, and Louis could play all his piano scales and roller-skate backwards. Still he couldn’t borrow a book from the main library.” The need to write an essay on young Abraham Lincoln is motivation for a young African-American boy and an opportunity for a young Caucasian librarian. With equanimity, Louis enters the whites-only library and is turned away, but the young librarian who escorts him to the door whispers that he should return after closing. Bootman’s illustrations depict Louis’s curiosity, determination and joy as her pursues his quest for justice. Malaspina’s moving text explains the societal mores of the time and the actions of the people committed to rewriting them. Much of the story’s power derives from Louis’s lack of awareness of the momentous actions underway. Children usually do not fully understand the effects of the choices they make, but learning to be thoughtful and contemplative before acting is a salutary lesson readers will take away from this impressive tale. (Picture book. 5-12)