As a young man, Abraham Lincoln made a number of flatboat trips on the Mississippi River. Neil
Waldman recreates these journeys and tries to capture what Lincoln might have been thinking as he
took in all the sights and sounds along the banks of the meandering river.
Waldman writes, "On the river's muddy waters, young Abe Lincoln reflected on his humble beginnings,
dreamed about the future, and grappled with ethical issues of his day. It was there that he formed
his conviction that slavery is an immoral, unjust, and un-American institution."
In this first-person narrative, Abe shares his innermost feelings on three voyages he takes on
the Big Muddy, plus the shame he feels as he views a slave auction in New Orleans.
To distinguish the President's actual words from those of the author, Lincoln's prose appears
in brown italics. Neil Waldman also provides the illustrations for this moving and well-written
portrait of the formative years of Abe Lincoln's life.
An interesting way of introducing children ten years of age and older to one of the nation's
most important leaders, this short book might well pique the youngster's interest in reading a
longer biography about Lincoln.