Title: Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship
Author: Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Grade Level: 4-5
Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship is a picture book that tells a remarkable story of the friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Although Lincoln white and Douglass black, these two American leaders form a strong bond. Because he is colored, Frederick Douglass is given a hard time about which door to enter when he attends reception to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration as president. Him and his wife, however, decline entering the rear door. Even though Lincoln was born free and Douglass was born a slave, the two leaders create a lasting friendship at a time where equality had not yet been established.
Element #4: Social Movement and Social Change
Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship tells the story of two central figures in the American abolitionist movement. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass create a friendship over similar ideals and work together to achieve a goal. This story is an excellent portrayal Element 4: Social Movement and Social Change because although Lincoln was born free and Douglass born a slave, they formed a bond when racial tensions were high. The two main characters in the story are a representation to students of creating movement and change at a difficult time. Social movement and social change are truly represented in the story, especially when this special friendship is formed.
In the classroom:
Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship is geared towards grades 4-5. It is an inspiring story that would pursue children to take social action to create change. I would incorporate this book in my classroom by asking my students what kind of change they wish to see in the world. After reading the story, I would put them in partners so they could discuss the story and the positive changes that were made when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass established a friendship. The students will learn the importance of creating change where necessary, especially when that movement could be a positive life change for an individual.