Thursday, March 21, 2013
Discovering New Information
I love reading about things previously unknown to me. Never had I been aware that villainous men plotted to steal President Lincoln's body from his memorial in Springfield, Illinois in 1865! Author Steve Sheinkin kept me totally engaged as I read Lincoln's Grave Robbers today. It begins with equally incredible background information about other wrongdoings. Counterfeiters flooded the country with fake bills. A man like Ben Boyd, known as a coney, would painstakingly carve plates and use "pushers" to get those bills into circulation. The Secret Service was actually in charge of disrupting these operations, not in protecting the President.
When Sheinkin gets to plot thickener, these words are riveting:
"In flush times the gang (Logan County Gang) liked to brag that, thanks to them, there was more bogus than real money floating around Logan County. But business was slow now. The men were just eager for any kind of work. And it just so happened that Big Jim (Kennally) had a job for them. He wanted them to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln." p. 37
Sheinkin's writing flows easily for me. The book reads like a fictional story and is a perfect example of how the events of a situation can be shared as anecdote in a manner engaging to readers. I would love to read this one aloud to my intermediate students.
Note: the photo is of a quilt hanging at Grant's March, a quilt shop specializing in fabric designs and colors from the Civil War era.