Illustrated by S. D. Schindler

We all know Abraham Lincoln as our 16th president, the great emancipator, an iconic American hero. But we often forget that Abraham Lincoln was also a human being. Long before he became the man we know him to be, he made a great big mistake that almost cost him his life!

When Abe became frustrated at political rival James Shields, he came up with a silly and clever plan, and found himself in a heap of trouble! Using his smarts and knee-slapping humor, Abe, his future wife, and a friend of hers wrote pseudonymous letters to the editor of a newspaper, taking a swipe at Shields. But when Shields read the letters and took offense, he blamed Lincoln for damaging his character and reputationand challenged him to a duel. How would our future president get himself out of this one?

Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words, an engaging nonfiction picture book perfect for reading aloud, written by award-winning author Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by S. D. Schindler, offers a rare look at the more human side of Abraham Lincoln and how the lessons he learned made him a better man.

“Lively, engaging… Bowman’s conversational, folksy reader-directed paragraphs incorporate droll, dramatic, and suspenseful touches that will likely hold readers’ interest…Schindler’s intricate, expressive watercolor-and-ink illustrations lend further vibrancy.” —Booklist

“Bowman’s upbeat telling is infused with folksy humor, and Schindler’s superb watercolor-and-ink illustrations effectively capture the time period…” —Kirkus Reviews

“A rollicking story, well told with all the original color.” —James M. Cornelius, PhD, Curator, Lincoln Collection and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

From Abraham Lincoln’s Political
Career (Morrill, A.G., 1917)

In addition to the wealth of information provided in the extensive back matter, including details about the Aunt Rebecca Letters and political mudslinging, Bowman also offers even more material about the book’s historical context on her website. Find information on the history of Bloody Island (where the duel took place), 19th-century dueling terms, the gentleman’s code of conduct, Lincoln and Shields’s working relationship, a timeline of events, and more!

And check out our Q&A with author Donna Janell Bowman about what makes this little-known chapter in Lincoln’s life so significant.

Get your copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble starting April 1!