Two Miserable Presidents

Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War

by Steven Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson

Roaring Brook Press

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May 22, 1856: A MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA WALKS INTO THE SENATE CHAMBER, LOOKING FOR TROUBLE.

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 is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Reviews

Praise for Two Miserable Presidents

Booklist

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. Although Sheinkin apologizes for the dull textbooks he used to write in an author’s note, his experiences give him the authority to tell the history from the inside, and he supports his material with an extensive array of source notes. His background also gives him a store of lively, interesting anecdotes, which appear here. Beginning with a look at the role cotton played in the history, his fast-paced narrative is broken into short, tersely titled vignettes (“Brother against brother?” “The bloody road to Richmond”). There’s no in-depth analysis, but that doesn’t equate with simplistic. The horrors of slavery and battlefield slaughter are clear, as are achievements of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and many more... — Hazel Rochman

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About the Author

by Steven Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson

Steve Sheinkin  is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction, and received three starred reviews; and Bomb, a National Book Award finalist and recipient of five starred reviews. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Steve Sheinkin
Tim Robinson

Steve Sheinkin

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Tim Robinson

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Available Formats and Book Details

Two Miserable Presidents
Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War
by Steven Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson

Award

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Beacon of Freedom Award

Hardcover

Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
July 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781596433205
ISBN10: 1596433205
Middle-Grade Nonfiction
6 x 8 1/2 inches, 256 pages, Black-and-white illustrations
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9 Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 920L
AR Quiz Number: 136776
AR Book Level: 2.4
AR Points: 0.5

$19.95

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
July 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781596435193
ISBN10: 1596435194
Middle-Grade Nonfiction
6 x 8 1/2 inches, 256 pages, Black-and-white illustrations
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Range: 5 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 920L

$9.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Roaring Brook Press
July 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429932745
ISBN10: 1429932740
Middle-Grade Nonfiction256 pages, Black-and-white illustrations
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9
$7.12
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