Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare

Gene Barretta. Holt/Ottaviano, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9945-4
Barretta (Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives) compares Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy in a project that provides an adequate overview of their lives, but can’t help but evoke the (oft-debunked and derided) lists circulated online for years that dwell on superficial coincidences between the men and their presidencies. Employing visual and verbal parallels throughout, Barretta’s caricatured illustrations and conversational narrative highlight the discrepancies and similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy throughout their lives, from their childhoods to how they met their wives, the tragic losses of family members, their career explorations, and their ascents to the presidency; Barretta compares Lincoln’s role in the abolishment of slavery to Kennedy’s efforts in support of civil rights, before examining their respective challenges during the Civil War and Cold War. Endnotes provide additional trivia about and quotations from both presidents, but a bulleted list of coincidences—“Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre; Kennedy was shot riding in a Lincoln (made by the Ford Motor Company)”—feels more targeted to budding conspiracy theorists than historians. Ages 6–10. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 06/14/2016
Genre: Children's
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