Abe Lincoln Grows Up Critical Context - Essay

Carl Sandburg

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Sandburg’s style of writing and the humorous incidents help to make this biography very popular with children. His approach of showing how the environment affected Lincoln’s development is intriguing. The interesting manner in which Sandburg inserts information on the world and on Lincoln’s contemporaries also appeals to young readers.

This book grew out of the immense popularity of Sandburg’s two-volume biography of Lincoln. In an effort to make the story more appealing to young adults, the story is taken from the first twenty-seven chapters of the earlier work, thus eliminating Lincoln’s adult life, which would not be of as much interest to young adults. The addition of James Daugherty’s powerful black-and-white illustrations add much to the story and help children to visualize Lincoln’s experiences.

Younger teens seeking fresh insight on Lincoln will definitely enjoy this book, and teachers wishing to stress Sandburg’s versatility with prose as well as with poetry will find it useful. Several of the incidents that Sandburg relates are found in other biographies of Lincoln, as Lincoln is such a popular subject of biographers. Sandburg’s uniqueness, however, lies in his ability to weave Lincoln’s contemporary world and other background material into the biography.