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Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
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Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  524 ratings  ·  115 reviews

From the time he was a young boy roaming the forests of the unsettled Midwest, Abraham Lincoln knew in his heart that slavery was deeply wrong. A voracious reader, Lincoln spent every spare moment of his days filling his mind with knowledge, from history to literature to mathematics, preparing himself to one day lead the country he loved towards greater equality and prospe
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Disney-Hyperion (first published October 7th 2008)
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Kadir Nelson uses his stunning grasp of human nuances to illustrate President Abraham Lincoln's life. Nelson's expressive art mixed with Lincoln's actual words create a powerful story that is weaved together by Rappaport's concise narrative.

This would be a great read aloud or addition to a larger unit on presidents, slavery, or leadership. Individual pictures could also be used as writing prompts.
From the front cover to the back cover and every page in between, it is easy for the reader to get caught up in the beauty of the artwork. Every page is rich with texture, feeling and expression. The picture of the chained slaves evoked so much emotion from me when I first saw it, that it took me several minutes before I could turn the page. I felt like I had been swallowed by the picture.

The text provides two different stories. The first story is Abraham Lincoln's biography, providing facts an
This is a beautiful representation of one of the greatest Americans. The artwork is breathtaking and takes the reader into Lincoln's world of anger and resentment. It shows Mr. Lincoln as the ever-present representation of morality and wisdom. This biography of Abraham Lincoln shows his meager upbringing and his rise to great power through the sheer power of personality and words.

Abe's Honest Words tells his story in a wonderfully simplistic manner that is approachable to young kids. On every p
This book should be on the shelves of every school library. What a creative way to write a historic informational book. The author(in simple language) explains the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and at the end of each page, he includes a direct quote from Abe Lincoln himself. It really gives you a sense of how Lincoln felt about the decisions he made in his life. As if the creative writing style weren't enough, the illustrations give so much more depth to the text. This is lightyears ahead of ...more
L- Lisa
Abe’s Honest Words, The Life of Abraham Lincoln tells the history of our 16th president from his birth in Kentucky to his assassination in 1865. The author tells the story, inserting Lincoln’s words from speeches throughout. This gives the reader and listener a close connection to the man and the sequence of events during this memorable time. This audio is very powerful to listen to, as the voice changes from storyteller to what we believe to be Lincoln. The illustrations by Kadir are paintings ...more
Timely, Kadir Nelson's gorgeous paintings flesh out this portrait (not biography) of Abraham Lincoln, in time for the 200th anniversary of his birth. The focus of the book is on his words, and through his words, his impact. 2009 is a good time to reread and think again about his iconic speeches, including the Gettysburg Address, which is reprinted in its entirety at the end of the book.
Alexis Fiore
The illustrations were amazing and so beautiful to look at! This book was also a great source to learn about Abraham Lincoln. It covers majors events that have happened in his life and his hard fight to free slaves. I loved reading his quotes and how life changing his words were. I learned a lot from this book and I know all students would as well. There is all a timeline at the end of the book that goes over even more events and hardships in his life. This book made learning about history fun a ...more
Mary Ann
This stirring book captures the span of Lincoln's life, the strength of his words and convictions, and the dignity in his stance - all in a way that a child just growing into an awareness of our nation's history can grasp. It is a beautiful book, one that you'll want to have at home to come back to again and again.

Starting with Lincoln's humble beginnings, Rappaport traces his journey from the rural slave state of Kentucky to the statehouse in Illinois, to the nation's capital. Kadir Nelson's il
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” These are famous words spoken by the twelfth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. This is a unique biography of Lincoln where it truly focuses on words he spoke. The words are separated into times of his life and facts are given. I am a history person, but I think everyone will enjoy this book. Sometimes we ...more
“Abe’s Honest Words” by Doreen Rappaport tells the story of Abraham Lincoln. Rappaport also wrote “Martin’s Big Words”, and this book resembles it very closely. This book begins when Abraham was young and saw slavery first hand and knew from an early age that slavery was not right. It goes into detail how Lincoln rose from a simple man to become President on the United States and fight to end slavery. As with “Martin’s Big Words” this book compels the reader to become engaged with the story and ...more
karrie's corner
From the front cover to the back cover and every page in between, it is easy for the reader to get caught up in the beauty of the artwork. Every page is rich with texture, feeling and expression. The picture of the chained slaves evoked so much emotion from me when I first saw it, that it took me several minutes before I could turn the page. I felt like I had been swallowed by the picture.

The text provides two different stories. The first story is Abraham Lincoln's biography, providing facts an
(2.6) Having lived all my life in Illinois, I am rather sick of heroic, honest Abraham Lincoln, through no fault of his own. Kadir Nelson's lushly luminous paintings are by far the highlight of a book that takes a very predictably patriotic and laudatory view of Lincoln, the homespun national saint. By focusing on a series of quotations from Lincoln's life, Rappaport focuses on the public, political Lincoln, leaving aside his personal life. This makes the text both more digestible for young read ...more
"Abe's Honest Words" by Doreen Rappaport is an amazing history book for children (Ages 8 and up). Along with the illustrator Kadir Nelson, this book reeled me in, the images were vibrant and expressive accordingly to the text. This book talks of his early life as he grew up, the background of his family, how he educated himself, the few attempts before he became president, the Civil War, Slavery until he got assassinated. In italic letters after the 3-4 sentences per page seemed to be quoting Ab ...more
Travis Miller
This book takes us through the life of one of our greatest presidents. The pictures and the words merge perfectly to give us a glimpse into his life. It is a children's book but the information isn't childish. It also uses quotes from Abraham to extend the story as well. I would use this in a classroom to introduce Abraham in a new way that is different from traditional texts.
This is a terrific children's book! It has large, beautiful illustrations, simple-but-informative text, accompanied by Lincoln's own words on every other page. I enjoyed the quotes, the interesting information (and even learned a new fact from it), and especially loved Kadir Nelson's wonderful illustrations. In fact, now I want to find more of Nelson's books.
Taylor Lane
I really think that this is a great children's book that would help to introduce a history unit on the different presidents. Since this specific book uses such amazing drawings, it would really help to grab the students attention and help to understand the differences in todays society and compare it to the minimal amount of things they had during Abe Lincoln's time. Since this book focuses on the struggles that Lincoln had to go through in order to finally win the presidential election, student ...more
Tracy Holland
Beautifully written and illustrated, this picture book intermixes the famous words of Abraham Lincoln with the events that signify his life. Merely the highlights of the president's life, the poetic writing and illustrations make this a beautiful starting point for a study of Abraham Lincoln and his belief system.
I have always loved reading about Abraham Lincoln and this is a fun book that talks about Abe's life growing up. He was always caught with a book in his hands at every chance he can. He doesn't think about becoming a lawmaker until one day he witnesses a group of slaves chained together, forced to walk down the street bound together. From that day, Abraham Lincoln works as hard as he can to abolish slavery, speaking honestly and from his heart and changing peoples' minds.

This book is appropriat
Guy Brown
This epic biography of one the United State’s greatest men is brought to live through epic pictures and beautiful pictures. Telling of the whole story of Lincoln’s life from his days as a self taught man in the frontier of a budding nation, to his days as a young and idealistic lawyer. Continuing with his inspirational rise as politician fighting slavery and his eventual bid to become president. Finally, telling Lincoln’s most important story of leading the United States through its darkest days ...more
Tara O'malley
I liked Doreen Rappaport’s picturebook biography “Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln”. I do not think I could have read a whole biography about Abe but since this was a picturebook biography I did not mind reading it. I liked how the book still provided enough information about Abe’s life yet there was not a lot of reading. The story was short and straight to the point. Then if you wanted to know more information important dates and website are in the back of the book. I also like t ...more
Elizabeth S
This is one of those picture books that isn't intended for the very young. (Some people get confused about that, so I thought I'd mention it upfront.) Not that the content is overly adult oriented or anything, but more that a toddler would be confused by how the books is organized. It briefly overviews the story of Lincoln's life and weaves in words that Lincoln said or wrote. The jumping back and forth between narrative and quotation were confusing to my toddler. However for a 5-8 year old chil ...more
Andrew Wisler
This book does an excellent job of bringing history to life with the associated illustrations. As a history buff, I've read a good amount about the Civil War. However, my readings focused on the grander scheme of things - where the battles were fought, what life was like for soldiers and citizens etc. This book helped bring in a much deeper and more personal knowledge of Lincoln that I had only briefly experienced before. The quotes of Lincoln further served to bring him to life right before my ...more
A great biography about the life and legacy of Lincoln. I really liked how a lot of the text were from his speeches. Some of the illustrations are really arresting.
Yahya Han
This is another good illustration made by Kadir Nelson. I read and saw almost all of his books and they were all related with African-American stories. Only this book, which I saw, is not related with African-American stories.But, when we look at the first page, we will see a quote, which is said by Lincoln "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel so." What a wonderful quote, isn't it? I did not know so much things about him, but, I think tha ...more
Courtney Harden

Rappaport, Doreen Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln

This is a nonfiction book about the life of former president Abraham Lincoln. This is a great upbeat way to discuss history and cover Abraham Lincoln. Students grades 4-8 will enjoy look at this picture book about Lincoln. I can see this being used in the classroom as an After-Reading strategy Text Reformulation(Students can break up in to groups and do a ABC reformulation or a rap of the book to help with comprehension. Such as th
Kadir Nelson envelopes us again with his illustrations. Some seem a bit cartoonish, there are plenty of standouts: 1) the two-page spread of Lincoln with a book in the field while the head of the horse working the field behind him just peeps over the lower edge of the page; 2) slaves in a queue in New Orleans and 3) working the cotton fields; 4) black soldiers in the Union army, and 5) the expansive capital building in Washington DC on the day of Lincoln's second inauguration (with sunshine comi ...more
Allison Parker
This book tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln grew up to one day become President of the United States as well as one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. The author used the words Abe actually said or wrote on each page to show us what he believed in most strongly: that all people should be treated equally, with dignity and rights.

There are many books about Lincoln, but this one is special because of its big, beautiful pictures. See how Kadir Nelson painted each scene and person
Had this ever since I was in elementary school and, for a children's book and for childhood's sake, I give it a 5 rating
Lincoln's journey from farmer to president has never been so eloquently told and illustrated. His passion and beliefs jump off each page at you, the reader, the American. His convictions were true, yet tested at every step. He convinced a young nation to hold 'freedom for all' in their hearts. He abhored unnecessary death and wallowed in the sorrow. He begged for justice, compassion, and unity. His legacy is unmatched.

Wonderful, skillfully drawn illustrations capture the reader's hearts and min
Jan 10, 2009 Rory rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lincoln-likers
I've been reading lots of kids' Lincoln books lately, as it's his bicentennial (his bicentennial of what, I'm not sure); this is my favorite so far. The text is short and simple, without being sappy, but it's the pictures that pop and impress. They're paintings by the same illustrator who so moved me in We Are The Ship. Give this guy a medal, somebody.

My colleague Donna has been reading what seems like a TON of Lincoln adult nonfiction--I hope she gives her mind and eyes a bit of a break and del
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Doreen Rappaport has written many books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, specializing in thoroughly researched multicultural history, historical fiction, retellings of folktales and myths, and stories of those she calls the "not-yet-celebrated." Among her recent books is MARTIN'S BIG WORDS: THE LIFE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received a Caldecot ...more
More about Doreen Rappaport...
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr. Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust Eleanor, Quiet No More To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

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