Nana’s Nook – Review – Part 1 – The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union by David Potter

Nana's Nook

I used to review children’s books when Kaden was younger and now Remi and Natalie are getting to that fun age where they love to read with me. Kaden is into chapter books and learning new words everyday. So I have decided to say “yes” when a children’s book crosses my path that I think they would enjoy.

abe lincoln
The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: The Left Behinds
2nd in Series
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (January 12, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0385390606

Percy Jackson fans and readers who have outgrown the Magic Tree House series will embrace this humorous time-travel adventure to Abe Lincoln’s White House and the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Mel, Bev, and Brandon—the Left Behinds—are at it again. When the iTime app on their phones sends them to Washington, D.C., in 1863, they find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. They sit in on a séance with First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and are shown every inch of the White House by Tad, the youngest Lincoln. When they drop in on the president himself, Abe Lincoln, he is preoccupied with the fateful battle at Gettysburg, which is just under way.

The kids receive their marching orders—they must somehow travel to Gettysburg from D.C., make sure what’s supposed to happen does happen, save the Union, and be home in time for dinner.

No biggie. After all, it’s only the entire future of the country at stake.

This sequel to The iPhone That Saved George Washington includes an author’s note and information on Civil War reenactments and living history sites around the nation.

Nana’s Thoughts

This is a chapter book I started reading with my oldest grandson. I had committed to feature this book today for the publisher, so what we have is a review in progress.

We have finished Part 1, Welcome to Washington City, so far. I really wish we would have read the first book, The iPhone That Saved George Washington, before we started this one because I would have liked a little more knowledge on this iTime app. An eight year old can ask so many questions and I hate saying “I don’t know, let’s keep reading and maybe we’ll find out”.  I guess I am like Professor Moncrieff in that way, I just hope I don’t frown as much. But I am getting ahead of myself.

This series/book features Mel, Bev, and Brandon. They attend the Fredericksville School and didn’t go home for the holidays. They meet Professor Moncrieff in the basement of Taylor’s General Store where he tells them about the iTime app and tells them they need to go back in time and “change things”. Somehow they are also to able to stay in touch with their teacher, Mr. Hart, by text messages. Even my grandson didn’t buy this. His mother’s cell phone drops calls when they go to his other grandparents house in the country. He just looked at me and said “No Way!” But I did the “let’s keep reading” thing. The kids are nervous about going back in time “again”. (“We really need that book Nana”) But the kids are off in a blink of an eye headed back to 1863 where they abruptly meet The First Lady, Mrs. Lincoln, and the adventure begins where.

Part 1 takes us through Chapter 10, Part 2, White House Guests and Ghosts, has ghosts in the title so my grandson is looking forward to that.

This is a great way to teach history. It is relate-able to kids and much interesting than any textbook I ever read. The age level, 8-12, seems right. The kids in the story are 12. My grandson is 8 and he needed help understanding a few words but so did Mel, Bev, and Brandon, so there are explanations right in the story. I did have to explain some things and as I said answer some questions. That is why this is an excellent learning tool.

We are just getting to know Brandon, Mel and Bev, and I am sure we are at a disadvantage not having read the first book, but these are kids kind of thrown together by circumstance, they are not “friends, exactly”.  The story has them working together and relying on each other and it is handled realistically for kids this age. Another good lesson.

Like I said this is a review in progress so I will update as we continue, but right now we give this book between 3 and 4 stars. I am close to 4 and my grandson is the 3. He wants to see what happens with the ghosts.


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You can find out more about David Potter and his books on his webpage here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 thought on “Nana’s Nook – Review – Part 1 – The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union by David Potter

  1. I love this entry! Our granddaughter is developing a love of books. She is 6 and in Kindergarten but starting to sight read basic words. Now when she comes to visits, Kristen and I each read her one book. I’ve reviewed the most recent ones. Just for fun as they were well written and held her attention.

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