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Lincoln's Grave Robbers

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,837 Ratings  ·  660 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, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published 2012)
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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 Mike 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
Taryn Pierson
Jul 28, 2014 Taryn Pierson 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
Jenn Estepp
Mar 25, 2013 Jenn Estepp 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.
Feb 01, 2013 Joan 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
Sep 04, 2013 Raina rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, historical, nonfic
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 Lauren 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.
Julian Martinez
May 06, 2016 Julian Martinez 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 Barb Middleton 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 Molly 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 obsessingovercommas 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 Sarah 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
May 20, 2013 Barbara 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 Ionia 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
Hunter Lange
The book, "Lincoln's Grave Robbers", is about the beginning of counterfeiting money to the grave robbers of Lincoln's grave, and how it is all connected in the end. The main characters of the story with how it is written has a few different ones between the story, but with how it begins is with counterfeiting it has, Ben Boyd, Pete Mcartney, and Allie Boyd. They all are apart of the counterfeiting. When the grave robbing comes around, it includes, Patrick Tyrell, Lewis Swegles, Jim Kennally, and ...more
Chrissie Morrison
Jan 19, 2017 Chrissie Morrison rated it really liked it
When I first heard about this book, I just couldn't believe it. How was it possible that there was a plot to steal Abraham Lincoln's body from his grave and yet I had never even heard about it? I admit that I was not the best history student; I much preferred math and science because I was terrible at memorizing all those names, dates, and places... but this is something I'm sure I would have remembered! It didn't surprise me in the least to see the depth and breadth of historical information th ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Samantha rated it it was amazing
So so so good! Sheinkin writes nonfiction in such an exciting way. Characters, plot, setting, everything becomes the perfect ingredients in a first class story.

In this book, readers are introduced to some of the major players in the counterfeit money business back in the 1870s. He reveals that the plot to steal President Lincoln's corpse grew out of issues relating to counterfeit money and the need for a larger than life bargaining chip to get a key player back in the business. With cliffhangers
Erica Honing
Oct 09, 2014 Erica Honing rated it it was ok
Lincoln's grave robbers was an okay book. I think this wasn't one of my favorite books. I was kind of confused with the author going back and forth between the characters.

This book is about the Civil War history. It's a true story about some of US's criminals trying to go and rob Lincoln's grave. Kennelly's orders was for the robbers to snatch Lincoln's grave and hide it until they get to sell his body and get the money to get Ben Boyd out of jail. Others from the Secret Service hear about the p
Nov 19, 2015 Niko rated it it was amazing
This is a book that you will start to read and find it hard to believe that the events in the book actually happened in history. The book gives insight on facts that are good to know, for example the secret service was originally founded to find and capture forgers. It is interesting to see how many things had to happen to cause this story. I would recommend this book to any one because it is rather easy to read.
I love American history so I naturally LOVED this book. This book is great for readers who love mysteries and history. My son and I really enjoyed this book since we had been to Springfield, Lincoln, Oak Cemetery and Salem, Illinois. We were able to related to the places and the tomb while reading the book. I would think every student in Southern Illinois and the St. Louis area would enjoy this book after visiting Springfield on a field trip.
Nov 26, 2016 Melinda rated it really liked it
Did you know the secret service originally didn't protect the president, instead they were taxed with hunting down counterfeiters? In his attempt to capture counterfeiters Tyrell, a secret service agent comes across a plot to steal the body of President Lincoln for ransom. Steinkin, also author of Bomb, tells this little known true a narrative, with plot twists and a climax worthy of a work of fiction. Excellent for young adults, as well as adults.
Jun 12, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
I was disappointed by this should-be-fascinating tale of the plan to spring a master counterfeiter by holding Abraham Lincoln's body hostage. Sheinkin's joyful nonfiction style, chock full of all the interesting bits and pieces that feed into a story like his fascinating Bomb, feels dullified as though the story hasn't got enough meat. I actually wondered if he'd been forced to cut sidelines by Scholastic or something. 2016 Caudill nominee.
Ms Threlkeld
Jan 03, 2014 Ms Threlkeld rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not as compelling as Bomb, another book by Sheinken, but still an interesting read. I really appreciate how the author makes history come alive through the characters involved in the events. Up until now I had no idea there had been an attempt to steal Lincoln's body or that the Secret Service was originally created to catch counterfeiters. This would be a great supplemental text for U.S. history classes.
Cathy Easter
Jul 03, 2014 Cathy Easter rated it liked it
I only rated it a 3, but it probably deserves better than that. There were really morbid, almost gruesome, parts, and that unnerved me. As an 8th grade teacher, I know I will recommend it to boys who will love it. I love that the author did so much work getting his facts straight as evidenced by a lengthy bibliography and his own notes. What a great teaching tool!
Lucy Drenka
Aug 02, 2014 Lucy Drenka rated it really liked it
Would you like to read about a grave robbery? How about if the body was that of President Abraham Lincoln? This is an exciting story about counterfeiters, the Secret Service, and a plot to rob a grave for ransom money. This is based on a true incident in history but you will feel like you are reading a thrilling mystery.
Sarah Kinert
Nov 01, 2013 Sarah Kinert rated it it was ok
Lincoln's Grave Robbers was okay. I was really confused throughout the beginning but it kind of cleared up towards the end. They talked about multiple things switching back and forth; that triggered my confusion. I didn't really like it very much so I only recommened it if you are really into Lincoln.
Marie Lejeune
Jun 20, 2013 Marie Lejeune rated it it was amazing
I feel like I've learned more history from Steve Sheinkin this year than I did in my high school U.S. History class...and in such a lively way. I'm definitely considering an author study on Sheinkin for my pedagogy class this year.
Benji K-B
This is a thrilling story about one of the best presidents there are. President Abraham Lincoln was shot in a theater and now some bad guys are going to steal his body from his grave and are going to want 250,000 and the freedom of a master counterfiter.
R. E. Banks, Sherlockian
Jun 26, 2016 R. E. Banks, Sherlockian rated it it was amazing
This book is so exciting, the library accidentally shelved it as fiction! It's another great project by one of the best history authors of all time, telling another amazing story that is not well-known. Steve Sheinkin has done it again!
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Dent Book Challen...: Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin 1 1 Apr 15, 2015 12:37PM  
BCMS Reader's Rally: Lincoln's Grave Robbers 7 4 Dec 28, 2014 09:40AM  
Mock Newbery 2018: Lincoln's Grave Robbers 11 180 Jan 17, 2014 08:02AM  
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