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June 1, 2016

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Nowadays, the focus of Presidents’ Day has become the long weekend and sales at the shopping mall. It is easy to forget that Presidents’ Day is a tribute to the great accomplishments and leadership of two of the most beloved presidents of the United States: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

In learning about Lincoln and Washington, as with many historic figures, the focus often revolves around their accomplishments as adults rather than their background as a whole. While the accomplishments of historic figures are important, there is also value in learning about their lives before they landed in the public eye.

Because of this, I am a huge fan of Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World series. Each book in this series portrays a major historical figure as a child and provides a short, illustrated biography. These books humanize historical figures, ensuring that young children can learn about their accomplishments while coming to realize that even the greatest figures in history started out small.

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I picked up the volume devoted to Abraham Lincoln, I Am Abraham Lincoln. The book, narrated by a young Abe Lincoln, portrays Lincoln’s experiences growing up in rural Indiana. Little Abe learns to love reading and develops a drive to change the problems he sees around him. The fun illustrations and humorous dialogue will engage young readers and encourage them to learn about the life of our nation’s 16th president. Even more importantly, the book demonstrates to young readers that Abraham Lincoln began his life as an “ordinary” person and succeeded in changing the world because he pushed himself.

Check out another book in the Ordinary People Change the World series featuring Rosa Parks! What are your favorite books about former U.S presidents? Let us know in the comments section!


About the Author: Rebecca Yoshor is a merchandising assistant at Scholastic. Likes include cappuccinos, anything and everything YA, and beautifully illustrated picture books. Dislikes include cold weather and video games.

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