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President Abraham Lincoln in a Nutshell

Genre: History


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President Abraham Lincoln in a Nutshell

For homeschooling families using the lapbook/notebooking/unit study method, Knowledge Box Central offers many products and study guides. President Abraham Lincoln in a Nutshell is billed as a “study guide and 15 general discussion questions that will provide students with a basic overview of this president’s life and duties as Commander-in-Chief.”

What you get:

  • seventeen page instant download (e-book)
  • an engaging, conversational overview of Lincoln’s life
  • some interesting, lesser-known facts
  • links to other information and 15 discussion questions
  • facts about Civil War battles, leaders, and generals

President Abraham Lincoln in a Nutshell contains some interesting reading, including facts about Lincoln’s early life, appearance, family, and his road to the presidency.  For instance:

In 1864, Lincoln was up for re-election. With the war dragging on and Lincoln’s many unpopular decisions, along with appearing to be a scapegoat for the cause of the war, it seemed unlikely that he would be re-elected as president. However, the Democratic campaign was disorganized and the war began to turn toward the prospect of overall victory just before election day. Lincoln was re-elected in a landslide victory against his rival General McClellan, who ran as a Democrat. Had there not been significant improvements made in the war effort, it is likely that he would have lost the election.

I also like the fact that the authors address how Lincoln’s beliefs about slavery evolved, and how early–weeks into, actually–his presidency had to grapple with states seceding from the Union.

While the product states that it would work for second grade through high school, my opinion is that the subject matter is much too advanced for lower elementary students. Parents could read the guide and distill it for their student. High schoolers would find this a good jumping-off point, but would need more information. I think the ideal age for this resource would be upper elementary to middle school.

There are some typos, usage, and tense errors that I was a  little surprised to find in such a short guide. Still, even considering this, I think the useful information in President Lincoln in a Nutshell outweighs this issue.


About Jen McDonald

As Director of Print Publishing, Jen McDonald is responsible for the oversight of Home Educating Family Magazine, the line of Well Planned Day Planners, and HEDUA’s e-book series. She’s been a freelance writer for fifteen years and has written hundreds of articles for numerous publications, as well as contributed to two books. She and her amazing Air Force husband of 25 years are the parents of four interesting children–two graduated and two in high school. Homeschoolers since 1995, they’ve been stationed all over the world from the Pacific to Europe and currently live in Hawaii. Look for her upcoming book, An Airman’s Wife, publishing in Spring 2014! Find her at, on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram as jenmcdonald88.

Last Updated: February 11, 2013

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Review Rating

Quick Overview

e-book, 17 pages
Retail Price:
for upper elementary and up
interesting lesser-known facts about Lincoln's life
some typos, usage, and tense errors
Our Rating System
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Charm, likelihood of repeated use, the fun-factor