Rebec­ca­’s Prayer for Pres­i­dent Lincoln

  • Review
By – July 8, 2024

Rebec­ca­’s father fought valiant­ly for the North dur­ing the Civ­il War and returned home with a wood­en hand. He fer­vent­ly believed in the cause and always revered Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln for his val­ues, philoso­phies, and coura­geous lead­er­ship. Rebec­ca­’s fam­i­ly is staunch­ly and proud­ly Jew­ish. Her father often com­pares the war to the time the Jews escaped from Egypt, the jour­ney from slav­ery to free­dom being the uni­fy­ing theme. Dur­ing one Sat­ur­day prayer ser­vice, their rab­bi emo­tion­al­ly announces that the pres­i­dent has been assas­si­nat­ed. The con­gre­ga­tion ris­es up as one to recite the Mourn­er’s Kad­dish, acknowl­edg­ing Pres­i­dent Lin­col­n’s last­ing impact on the cause of free­dom from bondage.

Not­ed author Jane Yolen presents us with a mov­ing tale that is ground­ed in his­tor­i­cal real­i­ty. The full-col­or illus­tra­tions are reflec­tive of the book’s time peri­od and great­ly enhance the read­ing expe­ri­ence — as do the pho­tographs of Abra­ham Lin­coln and his elab­o­rate hearse.

A beau­ti­ful descrip­tion of true events seen through a Jew­ish lens, this book is a valu­able addi­tion to class­rooms, libraries, and house­holds alike.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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