Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

10 Days: Abraham Lincoln

10 Days: Abraham Lincoln

David Colbert
For ages 8 to 10
Simon and Schuster, 2009   ISBN: 978-1416968078

Abraham Lincoln is one of America’s most revered presidents. In part this is because he pulled the country through a time of great crises, the Civil War, and in part this is because Lincoln was assassinated. There is also the fact that Lincoln strongly believed in the basic concepts that the founders of the United States put forward, and though these concepts may seem “almost too childish” in our modern world, they still inspire Americans to hope that we can indeed “enjoy equal rights and status under the law.”

In this fascinating book, author David Colbert looks at ten days during Abraham Lincoln’s life that were pivotal. These were days that would have a profound effect on Lincoln himself, and therefore on the history of the United States.

The first of these ten days was the day when Lincoln’s mother, Nancy, died. Nancy passed on her love of the written world to her son, and it was certainly because of her influence that Lincoln would always value education very highly. Lincoln was only nine when his mother died, and the death of his beloved parent “seems to have had a profound effect on his personality.”

The sixth day mentioned in this book was the day when the Union side finally understood that there was a good chance that they would not win the Civil War. Up until July 21, 1861, the people supporting Lincoln’s cause were sure that they would win the war, and that they would do so quickly. After the Battle of Manassas, which took place on this date, they came to appreciate that the Confederates were a force to be reckoned with.

David Colbert has written several titles in the 10 Days series, and this one, like all the others, is beautifully written. The author helps his readers to better understand what Lincoln was like, and to appreciate which events in his life helped to shape his personality.