Get the feeling something big is about to happen? Welcome to the Civil War—one of the scariest, saddest, and occasionally wackiest stories in American History.
1856: Northern and Southern settlers attack each other in Kansas.
1858: Congressmen start sneaking guns and knives into the Senate chamber.
1860: President James Buchanan is heard wailing, “I am the last president of the United States!”
That Congressman, Preston Brooks, was ready to attack Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts over remarks Sumner made slamming senators who supported slavery in Kansas. Brooks lifted his cane to beat Sumner, and here the action in the book stops, so that Steve Sheinkin can explain just where this confrontation started. In the process, he unravels the complicated string of events – the small things, the personal ones, the big issues– that led to The Civil War. It is a time and a war that threatened America's very existence, revealed in the surprising true stories of the soldiers and statesmen who battled it out.
Two Miserable Presidents: The Amazing, Terrible, and Totally True Story of the Civil War by Steve Sheinkin, National Book Award Finalist Author of Bomb, a Newbery Honor Book, is a fascinating way for young readers to learn about a chapter of American history.
A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
A Beacon of Freedom Award Winner
“Chatty and accessible, this book does double duty: it introduces Civil War history for readers who don't know much about it and supplies browsable commentary for those familiar with the big picture. . . . Beginning with a look at the role cotton played in the history, his fast-paced narrative is broken into short, tersely titled vignettes. . . . The horrors of slavery and battlefield slaughter are clear, as are achievements of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and many more.” —Booklist