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Nonfiction Title - So You Want to Be President?

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by Judith St. George, published by Philomel Books, 2000.

Lincoln

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Introduction:
The nonfiction book "So You Want to be President?" and the poem would work well during a unit where you were studying the presidents. Read the facts about Lincoln from the book and then read the poem.

There was a boy of other days,
A quiet, awkward, earnest lad,
Who trudged long weary miles to get
A book on which his heart was set-
And then no candle had!

He was too poor to buy a lamp
But very wise in woodmen's ways,
He gathered seasoned bough and stem,
And crisping leaf, and kindled them
Into a ruddy blaze.

Then he lay full length and read,
The firelight flickered in his face,
And etched his shadow on the gloom,
And made a picture in the room,
In that most humble place.

The hard years came, the hard years went,
But, gentle, brave and strong of will,
He met them all. And when today
We see his pictured face, we say,
"There's light upon it still."

--Nancy Byrd Turner --

From The Random House Book of Poetry, selected by Jack Prelutsky, written by Nancy Byrd Turner, published by Random House, 1983.

Extension:
Have the students choose which president they would like to learn about and give them the facts that are discussed in the book "So You want to be a President?" Then, have them create a poem of their own using the facts about the president they have chosen.