Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

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Annotation: Follow Mrs. Lincoln through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady.
Catalog Number: #33049
Binding Type: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: c2009
Pages: 80 p.
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-426-30377-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-23008-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-426-30377-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-23008-8
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2008029314
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviewing Agencies:
ALA Booklist (Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 CST 2009)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Wed Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2009)
Kirkus Reviews
National Council For Social Studies Notable Children's Trade
School Library Journal (Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 CST 2009)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's High School Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 76-77) and index.
Word Count: 12,008
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.0 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 129586 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.5 / points:5.0
Lexile: 960L
Guided Reading Level: L

Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady's confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination. The book exposed Mary's marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln's "dirty laundry" meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth's reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, "I consider you my best living friend." How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women. Readers will be fascinated by a tale of friendship and fate. The pair seem like polar opposites: Lizzie is calm, dignified, with a steely inner strength; Mrs. Lincoln is fragile, unstable and flighty. Yet both share a burning resolve to get what they want. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker examines the strains on such a unique friendship, as it's debated and parodied in newspapers. Lizzie must frequently leave her work to attend to the demands of Mrs. Lincoln. She offers constant support and companionship, particularly after the assassination of the President. In return, the dressmaker enjoys all the prestige and the popularity of those close to power. Readers witness Elizabeth Keckley in her many roles: from fashion designer to abolitionist to caretaker. They follow her through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady. Handsome duotone illustrations include daguerreotypes, photos, paintings, and illustrations of the Lincoln's, Mrs. Keckley, and her masters. The book's elegant design emphasizes period fashion and the art of dressmaking. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker tells the remarkable story of a forgotten figure whose influence ran deep and offers a revealing insight into an extraordinary relationship at the very heart of Abraham Lincoln's presidency. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.