Tuesday, January 19, 2016

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Women Who Broke the Rules

nonfiction Mary Todd Lincoln reviewMary Todd Lincoln: Women Who Broke the Rules
by Kathleen Krull
illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley
Bloomsbury (Dec. 1st, 2015)


Mary Todd Lincoln was witty and highly educated, although that wasn't popular for women of her time. Though born and raised in the South, she opposed slavery and supported her husband's quest to save the Union. No matter what criticism or hardship she faced, including her husband's assassination, she remained loyal to her country.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Presenting a fresh view and focusing on these individuals' determination and resulting achievements, the author adroitly tells their stories from birth to death.
  • In Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln is portrayed as a clever woman who used her intelligence to promote herself and her husband. Neither opposition from her family regarding her marriage nor the contempt she suffered from Abraham Lincoln's cabinet daunted her, as Krull makes clear.
  •  Despite the upbeat, positive tone, the author does not shy from the less pleasant aspects of Lincoln's life, including her arguments with her husband while she was redecorating the White House and her enforced confinement in a mental institution by her son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...and here's the teacher's guide!

Mary Todd Lincoln as a child illustration

What Else You Should Read:

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