A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the nonfiction Lincoln's Grave Robbers is a fascinating look at a little-remembered episode in post-Civil War history. It gives a fair amount of background on the history of counterfeiting currency in America and then proceeds to chronicle the twisted tale of a group of counterfeiters who conspired to steal the assassinated president's body and ransom it for cash and the release of one of their confederates. It's another detailed, suspenseful story by Steve Sheinkin, author of the acclaimed Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon.
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What's the story?
After master counterfeiter Benjamin Boyd was arrested by the Secret Service in 1875, his confederates devise a plot to steal the remains of President Abraham Lincoln and ransom them for Boyd's release (plus a large amount of cash). It's up to Patrick Tyrrell, Chief Operative of the Chicago District of the Secret Service, to foil the plan. With the aid of Lewis C. Swegles, a career criminal turned double agent, Tyrrell and his men prepare to meet the would-be grave robbers at the run-down Lincoln Monument on a chaotic election night.
Is it any good?
LINCOLN'S GRAVE ROBBERS is an exciting, fast-paced and well-researched chronicle of a little-known sidelight of post-Civil War history. It provides the right amount of background on the history of counterfeiting in America, then gets down to the twisty tale of a plot to steal a beloved president's remains. The real-life cast is populated with some fascinating characters, from upright lawmen to conniving counterfeiters to a slippery double agent. Author Steve Sheinkin presents the material with clear prose and an eye for the telling detail.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the theft of a late U.S. president's body would be so shocking and traumatic to the nation. What do you know about Lincoln that made him especially loved and especially controversial?
How does Author Steve Sheinkin write history in a way that makes it as engaging and entertaining as a good novel? What's the difference between fiction and nonfiction?
Does counterfeiting still occur in the United States? How have changes in technology affected the production of counterfeit bills?
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