Osborne, Mary Pope. Abe Lincoln at Last! Illustrated by Sal Murdocca. Random House, 2011. 115 pages. $12.99. ISBN 9780375868252.
Jack and Annie are off on another adventure via the time-traveling Magic Treehouse, this time to impart an important message to Abraham Lincoln. They arrive at the White House during the very first week of Lincoln’s presidency and immediately encounter a very rowdy young boy named Tad. Tad insists that he can get the two children in to see the President, but because of his erratic, boisterous behavior, Jack and Annie are a little bit hesitant to follow. By way of a magic potion, Jack and Annie travel back in time even further, asking for the magic to give them a private interview with Abraham Lincoln. They’re confused, however, when they end up in a completely different, wild, and rural place: they encounter a strange, solemn boy who tells them that Abraham Lincoln is “nearby.” If you haven’t guessed, this boy turns out to be the young Lincoln! In typical fashion, the two travelers pull together this historical, time-traveling mystery just in time.
Ideal as a reading group selection during a unit on presidential biographies, this book offers facts about the time period, details about Lincoln’s early years, and the realities and hardships that Lincoln faced when he took office. Students could be asked to keep a reader’s log of events or details that seemed real to them; in small
The beauty of the Magic Treehouse series is that they cross multiple genres and therefore appeal to a wide audience, at a level perfect for “hooking” transitional readers. The historical settings are varied, though the books are formulaic (part of the appeal for transitional readers).
Mystery, Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Adventure
The nonfiction companion volume Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln (Osborne and Boyce) adds more details to the historical facts behind this adventure. Fans of Magic Treehouse will be happy to know there are 46 other books in the series!