Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln

Kirkus Review (November 15, 2010)
The creator ofJanuary's Sparrow(2009) andPink and Say(1994) sends two modern lads back to the Civil War for an encounter with President Lincoln and a shocked gander at an Antietam battlefield. Forced to leave their beloved electronic games behind, Derek and Michael aren't expecting much from their tour of a private Harper's Ferry museum-but when the owner dresses them in blue uniforms and passes them through a certain door they find themselves in 1862, standing next to Matthew Brady's wagon and about to experience war's aftermath firsthand. Climaxed by two wordless spreads of fields covered with twisted, bloodstained victims, the illustrations convey the boys' emotional shifts from boredom to astonishment, excitement to horror. They meet and talk with the sad, weary Lincoln, witness the taking of some renowned photos, stand rooted above broad and terrible killing fields and then survive a Confederate ambush on the way back to town and their own era. Rounded off with an afterword noting where some historical details have been telescoped, the episode will take a strong grip on readers' hearts and minds both.(Picture book. 9-12)

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