Abe's Honest Words:
The Life of Abraham Lincoln

Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
written by Doreen Rappaport
illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Abe's Honest Words is an absolutely stunning book!  Rappaport's moving, lyrical text and Nelson's large, spell-binding paintings work together to powerfully communicate they key events of  Lincoln's life and the principles that defined his life and his presidency.

Rappaport and Nelson have captured Lincoln's passion for learning, for humanity, and for justice. Despite being very familiar with the life and accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln, I walked away from this book newly amazed at what a remarkable and inspired man he was. This really is must-have book for every American classroom--for President's Day, for US History lessons, for any time.

Reading Levels

  • Interest Level:  Grade 2-6
  • DRA Level: 40
  • Guided Reading:  S
  • Lexile Measure: 820L
  • Grade Level Equiv:  4.4            

Awards Won

  • International Reading Association Teachers Choice Award 
  • New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading
  • Chicago Public Library Best of Best Children's Books
  • Capital Choices 100 Best of the Year List
  • CCBC Choices Best Children's Books of the Year

See Inside

Below are sample spreads from this book. If you know Kadir Nelson's work, you know that you have to see the images full size to get that "gasp" moment. They are STUNNING!  Regardless, we will show you little samples of their greatness here. :)

To see this book on Amazon, click the link below. Please note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

If you are looking for related activities and lesson ideas to go with this book, try the following.  Also, the back of Abe's Honest Words lists important dates, suggestions for further reading, website, research sources...

Lesson Idea: Abraham Lincoln Quotes
Abe's Honest Words is really effective at giving the reader/listener a sense of who Abraham Lincoln was and what he stood for. After reading the book to your students, tell them you are going to read some quotes by famous people and ask them to guess whether they might be by Abraham Lincoln based on what they know of him from the book and what they've learned before (ie...can you imagine he would agree with the statement.) The quotes that are NOT by Lincoln are statements he wouldn't agree with. This is a good activity to get students thinking about Lincoln more and also exposing them to some of his very wise, kid-friendly quotes.  Discuss each quote's meaning.

Do you think Lincoln said this?    
"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."     yes
"Speak loudly and carry a big stick."     no
"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be."     yes
"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better."     yes
"The number one problem in our country is apathy, but who cares!"     no
"In the end it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."     yes
"We are responsible for what we do unless we are celebrities."     no
"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend."     yes
"Those who think you know everything are annoying those of us who do."     no
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."     yes
"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."     yes

Where to now?

Now that you've seen this great book, what would you like to see now?  Please note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.