Title: Finding Lincoln
Author: Ann Malaspina
Illustrator: Colin Bootman
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Concepts: discrimination, public services, social justice
Review: At school during a class about the Civil War, Louis asked his teacher if President Lincoln shook things up when he was a child. She suggested he find the answer himself. This simple suggestion proved to be the catalyst of an important step toward equal rights in Louis’s local community. Restrictive Jim Crow laws in the early 1950s meant that the Alabama town in which Louis lived was racially segregated, so Louis could only use a small library for colored people in the church basement, which had no books on Lincoln. Louis stood firm and bravely entered the “whites only” public library to research his question, ultimately finding the right book and obtaining a temporary library card in the process.
Based loosely on events in the life of congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, this book offers young learners a clear account of the oppression and injustice that African Americans experienced before the U.S. Supreme Court abolished racial segregation. Engaging text and dramatic illustrations make the book an excellent choice for teachers and parents seeking new picture books about black history and social justice.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children