In the debut volume of the Time Twisters series, Abraham Lincoln arrives at Abby and Doc’s school to prove that history isn’t boring.
But history certainly seems boring when students read in their textbook: “Abraham Lincoln turned to the next page of the newspaper. He took a sip of coffee. He put his feet up on his desk. He read some more.” Even Ms. Maybee admits the book is “a little dry.” Fortunately, Lincoln arrives via a cardboard box in the storage room to rescue history. It’s stories that make history interesting, and they’ve disappeared from the textbooks. Miffed, Lincoln returns to his own time, and Abby and Doc follow him (“like The Magic Treehouse,” Abby notes). He says he and his fellow historical characters—Pocahontas, Washington, Harriet Tubman—can hear students snoring in class and are fed up. “Since you insist on saying our lives are boring, well then, we’ll show you,” Lincoln says, announcing that he’s quitting history. In the course of a silly tale, Sheinkin leads his protagonists to the stories that make Lincoln and his times interesting, which prompts them to find a way to get them back into the books. In Swaab’s illustrations, Abby seems to be white and Doc, black. By the end, readers will have learned quite a bit of history along with the protagonists, without being bored at all. When young readers are ready, they can move on to Sheinkin’s not-boring histories, such as Bomb (2012).
A silly story that weaves in a fair amount of history. (historical note) (Historical fiction. 7-10)