Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Climbing Lincoln’s Steps-The African American Story

1Climbing Lincoln's Step_Book cover_Hi Friends!

So glad you could come and read today. This is a fun non-fiction historical picture book. But before we get to the nitty-gritty, here’s  my gift for writers today, also refill your coffee cup and grab a hunk of chocolate. This is gonna be good.  a site where one can get a contract for their novel or just read all the good info about writers. I found this when a Facebook friend thought I might be ready to query. Unfortunately they don’t take picture books. But it was a nice gesture and who knows maybe one of you can use this info. This was to pitch to Jennifer Miller for Samhain Publishing. It took some research to learn she wanted only romance. But hey, some picture book publishers might look for pitches this way, too, right?  If you’re thinking about freelancing this website by Carol Tice is a wealth of info and this one post is just a taste of it.  Yes! I did visit this site, wondering how I can get more engagement on my Facebook page. I haven’t made any sales from Facebook and wonder if I should go somewhere else with my time. Facebook is fun and I love my friends and I will keep it for that reason but as far as selling my book? It isn’t doing it.

So here’s the scoop! 🙂   

Title: Climbing Lincoln’s Steps-The African-American Story

Author: Suzanne Slade

Illustrator: Paintings by Coretta Scott King Honor Artist, Colin Bootman

Published by: Albert Whitman & Company, Chicago Ill., 2010, Nonfiction,

Suitable for ages: Grades four to eight. Or ages eight to eleven.

First Three Sentences: “Abraham Lincoln was a great leader. When he became president in 1861, many African-Americans were enslaved. But Abraham knew slavery must end. Abraham led America through dark days—when citizens in the North fought those in the South over slavery and other issues.”

Themes: History, African-Americans, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth,  Henry Bacon, The Lincoln Memorial, Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Arthur Ashe, Andrew Young, Oprah Winfrey, Mae Jenison,  Toni Morrison , Colin Powell,  Condoleezza Rice,  Barack Obama, nonfiction, Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, Self Respect, Acceptance, tolerance, race, freedom and liberty, Human Rights, Civil Rights,

Resources:,shop.getfile/file_id,1706/product_qid,16702/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,59/index.php?page=shop.getfile&file_id=1706&product_id=16702&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=59&vmcchk=1 for a pdf on equal rights in the United States.

For a teacher guide on the Civil Rights movement see:

There actually were not specific resources on this book for lesson plans and teacher guides but if one were to visit the Lincoln Memorial one could begin by discussing the people in this book and why they were included in it. The book lends itself to many such discussions on the people or civil rights or civil war, slavery, equal rights or Lincoln himself. One could begin discussions with why slavery was abolished. When one starts googling civil rights and lesson plans there are more than enough to choose from. In fact choosing becomes difficult because there are so many. One excellent one was here:

You Tube:

From the Jacket: “The marble steps of our capital’s Lincoln memorial have witnessed key moments in African-American history Denied a place in Constitution Hall Because she was black, Marian Anderson sang instead at the memorial in 1939.On Lincoln’s steps in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech that so Inspired a nation. And in 2009, the first African-American President and his family made a Pilgrimage to this spot. Suzanne Slade’s powerful text and Colin Bootman’s stunning paintings interweave these important events with the story of black Americans’ journey toward equality.”

Why I   LOVE it! : This beautiful picture book is stock full of reasons to love it. The story of it takes a step at a time to c change the world and then have short biographical essays for many important people in the war for civil rights is brilliant. The illustrations are gorgeous and epic. There is a page in the back with a time line on it for how far African-Americans have come and who were most instrumental in changing America with a sentence of how they did it. At every page, there is significant information about the African-American journey, No one reading this book will be left unchanged. This book is stock full of information brought in a child friendly manner. Slade has a repeating phrase, “Change. It happens slowly. One small step at a time.”  And she combines three important people in the journey for equal rights with the Lincoln Memorial. The story is rich in its levels.

And as Beth Stillborn says “Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend!

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial (Photo credit: voteprime)

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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29 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Climbing Lincoln’s Steps-The African American Story

  1. Clar, what an appropriate choice for this week. I love your statement that ‘no one reading this book will be left unchanged.’ I think that is what we all hope for as writers – that we will touch a heart, persuade a mind and leave a heritage behind. Thanks for sharing.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you so much, Laura, for saying so eloquently what we as writers feel in our hearts. “that we will touch a heart, persuade a mind and leave a heritage behind.”

      Thank you. 🙂


  2. laura516 says:

    Another great pick! Accessible picture books of historical figures are so important for kids.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Laura.

      Yes kids need to hear about our history starting from the lap and not waiting till school. It will give them a head start and maybe a love for it. 🙂


  3. Janet Smart says:

    Love the title! Thanks for sharing this book with us.


  4. Great choice for this week, the coming inaugeration and Martin Luther King Day. Will have to check this one out.


  5. linda sittig says:

    Wow Clar, once again you have been so generous in sharing all the sites you’ve investigated.


  6. Looks perfect for the classroom!


  7. Margot Finke says:

    Thanks for the info at the beginning – Super!! Love the book too. Lincoln was such an inspiring person – transcends political parties. Kids need to learn his story and appreciate him. Now on my Pinterest REVIEWS board.

    Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques


  8. Micki Peluso says:

    Beautifully, masterfully written. Yiu bring us right into the past moments in time with your vivid descriptions. Lincoln is one of my favorite historical figures.


  9. Rosi says:

    Thanks for the review. I didn’t know about this book before. Looks like a good one.


  10. Joanna says:

    Sounds like such a wealth of information AND inspiration, Clar!


  11. It is so important for the African American population to have good role models to encourage them to greatness. This sounds like a winner!


  12. I love all books about Lincoln, and I love the message that one step at a time can change the world. I also love adding picture books for older readers to the list. And I also think a book addressing civil rights is a great pick for this week! Thanks for this one, Clar!


  13. Wonderful book choice, especially with MLK day around the corner (tomorrow actually). I’ll be linking this post to my Monday post…Daria, who shares music for kids all around the world, is contributing a free download of an original song she wrote about Martin Luther King.
    Clar…thanks also for the writing resources links…there is so much out there…it really helps when we share what we think will be helpful and not.:) And yes, time on Facebook does not seem to sell books…perhaps there is a better way to utilize it (both Facebook and time).:)


  14. Pingback: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Books, Cooks and a Song « Positive Parental Participation

  15. Pingback: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Music and More « Positive Parental Participation

  16. Judith says:

    great choice Clara I enjoy your reviews.


  17. Thanks for adding this. The marble for the Lincoln Memorial was quarried just a few miles from where I grew up! I will find this and read it!


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