Two Miserable Presidents

TWO MISERABLE PRESIDENTS (EVERYTHING YOUR SCHOOLBOOKS DIDN’T TELL YOU ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR) by Steve Sheinkin and illustrated by Tim Robinson (Roaring Brook Press, 2008) is sure to make readers interested in the events and people of the Civil War.

Sheinkin writes in the preface, “Confessions of a Textbook Writer,” that he was a textbook writer who loved finding interesting stories about historical events, but they never made it into the textbook. He says he “filled up notebooks with good [stories]—funny, amazing, inspiring, surprising, and disgusting.” This book is a result of his research and it makes history zing off the pages.

I was fascinated by the interesting pieces of information I read (and had never heard before). The backmatter includes biographical sketches, source notes, and quotation notes.

I’m hoping Sheinkin has other notebooks filled with stories—We could use companion books to this offering.

A fabulous read for history lovers, but also an appealing read for those who find history “dull.” Sheinkin proves history isn’t dull . . . not at all.