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Lincoln's Grave Robbers

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,420 ratings  ·  745 reviews
A true crime thriller -- the first book for teens to tell the nearly unknown tale of the brazen attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body!

The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a s
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published 2012)
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Jassie Historical fiction for middle age students

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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,420 ratings  ·  745 reviews

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♥ Sandi ❣
Tells the story of the second attempt to rob Abraham Lincoln's body from his grave.
Early in the 1860's money counterfeiting was a business onto itself. After the Secret Service captured the most brilliant counterfeiter, Benjamin Boyd, in Fulton Illinois (about 15 miles from me) a plan was needed to garner cash - lots of cash. The robbing of Lincolns grave for a ransom of $200,000 and the prison release of Boyd, to put him back to work, was devised. Five men were involved in this plan, one being
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is a sheer pleasure to watch this man's body of work grow. Benedict Arnold, with its extensive source notes confirmed that young readers don't have to choose between accurate and entertaining. I don'mind saying it again, Bomb's pacing raised the bar even higher. While most middle graders can handle Bomb, they will devour Lincoln's Grave Robbers.

This one's got it all. Cops and crooks, counterfeiting, treachery; all weaving around one of the most bizarre concepts I've ever encountered, body sn
jv poore
As Mr. Sheinkin has just received the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award Winner, 2013 for his, Bomb: The Race to Build—And Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, I fully expected to enjoy his account of criminals’ complications that lead to an attempt to steal Lincoln’s body. I was not disappointed.

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers is a non-fiction, historical book perfectly suited to Middle Schoolers. It is not; however, about robbing Lincoln’s grave. It is about counterfeiting. I ad
Taryn Pierson
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
History is boring, right?

Apparently nobody ever told Steve Sheinkin.

He's written this amazing book about an event in history that not very many people know about: in 1876, a gang of men tried to steal the corpse of President Abraham Lincoln. A group of Secret Service agents had been secretly following them for months and tried to catch them in the act.

Why would anyone want to steal a dead body? Sheinkin says it happened all the time in the 1800s. In this case, the men were counterfeiters—they ma
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lincoln fans, civil war history fans
Recommended to Joan by: NYT bestseller
This book is driving me insane. For some bizarre reason, WorldCat has it listed as FICTION. This is written by the guy who just won both the Sibert and YALSA nonfiction Awards this year, and whose entire oeuvre is nonfiction. It reads exactly as his other books read, like a thriller. I think that descriptive word is the villain in WorldCat miscataloging it as fiction. They ignored the two words before the word thriller in the SLJ review: TRUE CRIME. True crime means, well TRUE. REAL. No??? I not ...more
Jenn Estepp
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's pretty inevitable that this is going to get compared to Bomb, right? And found a bit lesser in comparison, because it is by nature a smaller, less-impactful and immediate story? In some ways, I think that Bomb has already pretty much overshadowed it, winning all it's (well-deserved) accolades around the same time that this one was released. So, I'm just getting this out of the way: It's not Bomb, it doesn't have the resonance of Bomb.

But it's darn good, completely fascinating non-fiction.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Get ready for an adventure! The same year Steve Sheinkin released Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, which received a Newbery Honor, he also came out with Lincoln's Grave Robbers, investigating a little-known incident that took place eleven years after Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The history isn't as high-stakes as in Bomb, but the crime being attempted is shocking. After a life of colossal triumphs and devastating losses, one would think President Lincoln ...more
Katharine Ott
"Lincoln's Grave Robbers" - written by Steve Sheinkin and published in 2012 by Scholastic. Did you know that "By 1864 an astounding 50 percent of the paper money in circulation was fake?" Counterfeiting was a lucrative gig, but when the Secret Service (which was originally created to pursue this crime) successfully jailed a skilled engraver, his crew decided on an audacious money-making venture so they could spring him. It had been tried before, but this one actually succeeded in getting into th ...more
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, nonfic, ya
This book is SUCH an easy booktalk. Kids typically know how Abraham Lincoln died, but NOBODY knows where his body is now. That's an AWESOME hook for a booktalk, and I had a great time connecting this narrative to body snatching, grave robbing, medical research, Frankenstein, spies, undercover agents, forgery, and holding things for ransom. There are so many ways you could plug this thing. :)

Helps that the package is well done, too. The graphic design is nice, it's shaped the same as a chapter bo
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I used this as a read aloud this year after seeing it on a Booklist list. After four tours at the tomb, I had heard reference of this unusual event but this was my first time really understanding it. This book was very comprehensive without being boring. Steve Sheinken does an excellent job knowing when to change the topic and keep the book moving.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
One Sentence Review: Lots of fun potential in this one, but something about the layout and the limitations of the story itself just doesn't let it rise to Sheinkin's usual genius levels.
Shae Petersen
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Crowther
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A riveting true story of the 1876 attempt to steal President Lincoln’s body. This book is well-researched and written in an engaging way for young adults. I learned some things about history that I didn’t know before—things about counterfeiting, grave robbing, and the early role of the Secret Service. It was so interesting to see how crimes were solved, and I was glued to each page. Steve Sheinkin has a marvelous way of ending each chapter with a suspenseful sentence that forbids you from taking ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I learned as much about the origin of the Secret Service and the national economic threat of counterfeiting money as I did about the Lincoln Grave Robbing heist.

There are few historical non-fiction writers I enjoy as much as Steve Sheinkin. In fact, he probably tops my list. He takes these obscure, big stories and gives them the time they deserve.

If you haven't read Bomb or The Notorious Benedict Arnold, consider them. They're a bit longer than this one, but every bit as captivating, and more.

Phillip Argall
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
I think that it was brilliant to teach young adults about the true event of Lincoln's robbery attempt. Yet the book being real wasn't presented in a fashion that was interesting. It took on a Oceans robbery attempt. Trying to set up everything over a long period of time, yet the climax of the book, when they broke in lasted so short that it wasn't much of a worth. Though you can't twist history there seemed to be a point were the breaking could have lasted longer.
Hunter E
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book Lincoln’s gave robbers was about a group of men that are thinking of taking his body and selling it to get money. The group of men make a big plan of how to get the body out of the memorial without getting caught. Some of the men get caught for coney which is counterfeit money. Will the men get caught? Read the book to find out if they get caught or sell the body to get lots of money.
Ms. Kendell
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I picked up this book and ended up reading the whole thing because I DID NOT WANT TO STOP! I loved uncovering parts of history I knew nothing about, especially about counterfeit money and how people will do really stupid things in crime rings because they think it will be THE solution. Silly criminals... This is a great little book for anyone who loves history, Abraham Lincoln, uncovering criminal plots, and getting inside the mind of a criminal.
Mason Melick
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i think that the people that like mystery would like this book. this book i liked because it was kinda was a mystery for me.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating! My 12 year old enjoyed it and I did as well!
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Lincolns Grave Robbers was very fascinating I had never known there was an attempt to steal Lincolns body before. Very interesting and exciting good read.
Julian Martinez
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered if someone would ever do the unthinkable rob a president's tomb and hold it for ransom and to also free one of the most notorious engravers in the state Benjamin Boyd. Well that is exactly what had happened in 1919 a group of counterfeiters planned and attempted to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln to hold it for ransom and the release of Boyd. The genre of my book is nonfiction I know this because the author tells the reader about a event that actually happened and talks ...more
Barb Middleton
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I admire how Steve Sheinkin weaves historical quotes into engaging narratives where characters are easy to visualize and settings contain details that draw on the senses to create captivating nonfiction stories. He makes it look so goldurn easy. In Sheinkin's award winning book, Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, he integrates three plotlines into a thriller that I couldn't put down. This latest book is not as complex which makes it accessible for younger rea ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-2013
Why a five star rating?

I really enjoyed reading about this crazy event in American history. The story is well constructed and avoids the dryness of some non-fiction texts. I also loved the photos and the lists of key characters at the front of this book; it really helped to keep people straight.

Plot Summary:

"Lincoln's Grave Robbers" examines the events surrounding a plot to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln. After they lost a key player in their counterfeiting ring to prison, Terrence Mullen and
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Name: Sami B.
Class: 7 Red
Pages: 224
Review: 8 (Non-fiction)

Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin is a compelling novel about an important historical event that never really got out to the public. The style in which Sheinkin wrote this book makes it even more amazing than it would have been in a different format. I am astonished that he was able to find all the little facts and details that he put into this book!

After the tragic death of President Abraham Lincoln, a memorial was built for hi
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Name: Sarah Fretz

Citation: Sheinkin, S. (2013). Lincoln's grave robbers. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

Genre: Informational


Format: Hardcover

Selection: Enos, R. (2013). Lincoln's grave robbers: Book review.109(9), Retrieved from


Steven Sheinkin gives a riveting account of a lesser known event in American history: the plot to steal Abraham Lincoln's body. Written like a crime novel, Lincoln's Grave Robbers easily tells the story from the hi
Levi Cahill-Miller
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: humanities
Lincoln's Grave Robbers
Levi Cahill-Miller

In the Grave Robbers By Steve Sheinkin Is a nonfiction book that gives you the perspective of what it was like to be a thief and also a detective in 1875. You will get to see the counterfeiting of money during this time. There will also be The way that secret service tries to solve the mystery who robbed Lincoln's body. This book takes a while to get to the election night. There a cool facts about the counterfeiting money and The plans on how to take Li
Quinn's Book Nook
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’m a total Steve Sheinkin fangirl. I’ve read The Notorious Benedict Arnold, Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon , The Port Chicago 50 , and now Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, all by Steve Sheinkin. I think it’s safe to say that Sheinkin is AWESOME at writing nonfiction in a way that is both informative, and interesting!

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers is about a band of counterfeiters who planned to steal Abraham Lincoln’s remains. Why would they want to steal Lincoln’s r
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Filled with details about counterfeit cash rings and the origin of the Secret Service whose members were originally tasked to root out counterfeiting and were not involved in protecting the nation's President until 1901, this book is filled with small and large acts of heroism as well as criminal acts. The author painstakingly describes the origins for the plot to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln and then provides a great deal of information about the individuals involved in hatching and follow ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin was not only an educational read, but an entertaining one at that. I realize that this book was market for kids ten and over, but I felt it might be a little bit advanced for most at age ten. Some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced and there are a few morbid, although historical, descriptions.

Otherwise, this was excellent. I even learned quite a few things I hadn't known before, such as the original purpose of the CIA, and the problem with fake money b
3.4 Stars

In the mid 1800s printing fake money was a big problem in the United States, one that threatened the entire economy. Some of the men responsible for these crimes decided to partake in another heist, stealing Abraham Lincoln’s body from his grave. The book goes into detail about how and why this plot came to fruition, the hiccups in the plan, and how it turned out in the end. It highlights not only the attempts to take the body, but also the efforts to prevent the crime from happening. L
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I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and my family lived in Mississippi and Colorado before moving back to New York and settling in the suburbs north of New York City. As a kid my favorite books were action stories and outdoor adventures: sea stories, searches for buried treasure, sharks eating people… that kind of thing. Probably my all-time favorite was a book called