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Lincoln's Legacy: Blast to the Past    by Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon order for
Lincoln's Legacy
by Stacia Deutsch
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Every Monday Mr. Caruthers' third grade social studies class begins with a 'what if?' question. Today's is 'What if Abraham Lincoln had never issued the Emancipation Proclamation?' The question starts kids wondering, and it also set the stage for the first meeting of Mr. Caruthers' after school history club, where four kids travel back in time to stop history from changing forever.

In Lincoln's Legacy, the first book in the Blast to the Past series by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon, Abigail, Bo, Zack, and Jacob go back in time and save Abraham Lincoln. He's at a particularly low point in the Civil War and seriously considering quitting the presidency, as many of his cabinet members would like him to do. But then the Emancipation Proclamation might never be issued. Using their teacher's special time travel computer and cartridges, the kids have two hours to convince Abraham Lincoln not to quit, thereby changing history forever. To save history they need to draw on their knowledge of Lincoln and his time period, along with just having a natural curious streak, and coming together and supporting each other as friends. Interestingly, they bring Lincoln into the future so that he can see the results of his actions. As time dwindles, the plot's pace picks up and readers will wonder if the kids can save the past in the nick of time.

The series is packed with historical information, so that kids read about the past without even realizing they're learning. Normally hearing about presidential cabinet members might be dull, but there is nothing dry about this series whose two authors breath life into history. The book is filled with adventure, humor, knowledge, and touching moments - just the perfect mix to appeal to both elementary-aged readers, and their teachers and parents. A special note to readers at the end of the book helps separate fact from fiction. It also highlights some amazing little known facts throughout the book - such as that the White House's basement smelled like a swamp. The authors also give kids a tantalizing peek at the next book in the series.

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