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Paperback Coming Fall 2021

Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

The Duel that Shaped a Future President

by Donna Janell Bowman
illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Abraham Lincoln was known for his sense of humor.  But in 1842, early in his adult life, it nearly got him into trouble.  He had to use his imagination to save his career―and maybe even his life.

When Abraham Lincoln became frustrated with the actions of James Shield, a political rival, he came up with a plan. It was silly. It was clever. And it was a great big mistake! Lincoln, his future wife, and a friend of hers wrote a series of fictional letters to the editor, complaining about Shields. But when Shields took offense, he challenged Lincoln to a duel.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-852-3
Publication Date: 4/1/2018
Page Count: 36
Size: 9″ x 11-1/2″
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-335-9
Publication Date: 11/1/2021
Page Count: 36
Size: 9″ x 11-1/2″
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English
AR Level: 4.8
F&P: S, Gr. 4, Genre HF
Lexile: 800L
Themes: Consequences, Dispute, Honesty, Honor, Humor, Journalism, Resolution
BISAC 1: JNF025200 JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / United States / 19th Century
BISAC 2: JNF007130 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Presidents and First Families (U.S.)
BISAC 3: JNF053200 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Issues / Values & Virtues

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“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

“Bowman adds levity and appeal… Schindler’s illustrations, done in watercolor and ink, are a perfect accompaniment to this moralistic story.” ―School Library Journal

“This title takes a refreshing look at one of Lincoln’s mistakes. Likely a story not known to many, this selection humanizes a celebrated man and solidifies his position as one of America’s greatest heroes!” ―School Library Connection


Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies, Children’s Book Council, 2019

Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards (Finalist, Picture Books) ―Writers’ League of Texas, 2018

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate)―Kansas National Education Association, 2019

Alabama Camellia Award (Nominee, Grades 4-5 Non-fiction) ―Alabama Department of Education, 2019-2020

Delaware Diamonds Award (Nominee, 3-5) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2019-2020

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Meet the Author

Donna Bowman

Donna Janell Bowman is the author of Step Right Up. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Texas. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

S.D. Schindler is a popular illustrator of many bestselling children’s picture books, including Ben Franklin’s Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention and Brother Hugo and the Bear. He lives in Pennsylvania.