February 2016

The Tale of Despereaux

Abe Lincoln’s Dream

by Lane Smith

Abe Lincoln’s Dream is a touching tale about the legacy of one of America's greatest presidents. When a schoolgirl gets separated from her tour of the White House and finds herself in the Lincoln bedroom, she also discovers the ghost of the great man himself. Together they embark on a journey across the country to answer Lincoln's questions and concerns about the nation for which he gave his life. 


A Note from the First Lady:

Dear Read20 Book Club families,

Bill and I love history, and studying American presidents is a terrific way to learn about the history of our country. Abe Lincoln’s Dream highlights one of our most influential presidents of all time, Abraham Lincoln. With the country consumed in civil war during his presidency, Lincoln had a lot on his mind, so it's not surprising that the 16th president often experienced vivid, troubling dreams. In fact, a recurring dream of sailing across an unknown body of water at great speed often came to him before a significant event.

Later this month, we will celebrate Presidents’ Day on February 15 to honor all U.S. Presidents, past and present. Presidents’ Day is a meaningful time to think about how presidents have shaped our Nation, as they have led our country over the course of American history. I hope you enjoy reading Abe Lincoln’s Dream, and I encourage you to visit your local library to learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s life and other U.S. Presidents in February.  

Warmly,

Crissy Haslam
First Lady of Tennessee


Family Activities

  1. This story compares and contrasts the state of America during President Lincoln's time and now. Write a letter to a president who is currently living or from the past. Explain to him the differences between now and when he was president.
  2. What are your dreams? A dream can be something that you experience while you’re asleep or it can be a goal you want to achieve. Abe Lincoln had a meaningful dream about being in a ship at sea, which relates to his aspirations for America. Do you remember a dream you had recently? Do you have a goal that you want to achieve? Maybe you want to run for president! Write down your dream or goal. On a separate piece of paper, draw yourself in your dream or achieving your goal.
  3. What do you think makes a good president? What characteristics did Abraham Lincoln have that you would want in a president today? This November, the United States will elect a new president. Take time to learn about who is running for office. What qualities and ideas do you like about each candidate? Who do you think is a good person to be our next President of the United States of America?
  4. There have been 44 Presidents of the United States since our country was established in 1776! Our Presidents have come from all kinds of backgrounds to serve the country. They've been generals like George Washington and actors like Ronald Reagan; big like William Howard Taft and small like James Madison. They've been born in log cabins like Andrew Jackson and mansions like William Harrison. Visit your local library to learn more about American Presidents. Choose one U.S. President to research. How did they grow up and how did they come into office? What tough decisions did they have to make during their presidency? What would you have done if you were president during their time?