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Climbing Lincoln's Steps: The African American Journey

By Suzanne Slade
Albert Whitman & Company

250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

"Change. It happens slowly. One small step at a time." This is the overall theme and powerful message of Suzanne Slade's book, Climbing Lincoln's Steps: The African American Journey. Many important events have taken place upon the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.--steps that have played a key role in the African Americans' journey toward freedom and equality.

The book begins in 1861 with Abraham Lincoln's presidency and the Civil War. It ends in the present with our current president, Barack Obama, and his family standing upon the steps gazing up at the nineteen-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln. In between, you will read about Marian Anderson and Dr. Martin Luther King, who stood on these very same steps paving the way for change. Also included in the book are the stories of others who have helped to create a better nation, including Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks. At the very end you will find a timeline of the years 1838-2009 that marks important African American events and firsts.

My children happened to be studying the Civil War when we read this book together, and I thought it was a perfect way to end our study. I wanted my children to understand that though slavery might have ended after the Civil War, freedom was still something for which the African Americans had to fight. This is a great book for teaching your children the value of standing up for what is right.

I highly recommend this beautifully illustrated hardback, which sells for $16.99. It is written for children in grades 2-5, but my kindergartner and sixth grader were able to enjoy the book as well.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, October 2010

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