Abe Lincoln’s Dream, Lane Smith’s latest book, is a fanciful and imaginative tale of a girl named Quincy and her encounter with Abe Lincoln’s ghost. In the first pages of the story, the reader discovers that something out of the ordinary is happening in the White House. Over the course of history, some of the presidential dogs would not enter a certain room. Then on February twelfth some said that they saw the ghost of President Lincoln. This rumor is confirmed when schoolgirl Quincy wanders from her tour and finds the ghost herself! Quincy sees that the ghost is sad and confused, so she does not feel afraid. Ghost Abe explains that his sadness stems from a dream of him sailing on rocky water that outlines uncertainty for his country. Quincy leads the Presidential ghost out of the White House for the first time to explore new developments that might set him at peace. After taking a flying tour of the country, girl and man return to the White House and the ghost disappears for good, leaving Quincy to dream of Abe Lincoln, standing on a boat, smiling and finally at peace.
This historical story is based on a dream that Abe Lincoln had the night before his death. The dogs at the beginning of the story are also based on real Presidential pups. This book would be fabulous to use in the classroom, as it connects with so many themes that children study in schools. It could be used to examine the current state of our nation’s unity and freedom, as well as integrated into a unit that involves Abe Lincoln. It could even be utilized in a President’s unit, as students could use the years stated on the beginning pages to match the dogs with their President! Students will love the creative fonts and page layouts just as much as teachers will adore the historical background and quality writing.
Not only is this book well written and historically accurate, but it is also beautifully illustrated and fun to read. The variety of page layouts and fonts make each page a completely new and different experience. Even older students will enjoy the ghost story element and the silly jokes tucked into the plotline. Although younger children may not pick up on as much of the detail and intricacy in this story, all students will be captivated by the beauty and fun that characterize this book.
Reviewed by Sally Nichols