"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lew Wallace: Boy Writer by Martha E. Schaaf

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Published in 1961 by The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc
Intended for upper elementary students.

Thirty-five years ago books like Lew Wallace: Boy Writer filled my library's book shelves in Hope, Indiana and I went through them like a hot knife through butter. I am sure they are a big reason why I enjoy history so much today. I remember enthusiastically reading about the adventures of young Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln and even about Martha Washington and other "yucky" girls as I worked my way down the shelf.

Union Major General Lew Wallace (1827-1905)
I have next to my computer a 1961 hardback copy of Lew Wallace: Boy Writer, part of the Childhood of Famous Americans series. I note this only because Patria Press out of Indianapolis is re-publishing the series, which is a good thing in my mind.

As suggested by the series title Lew Wallace: Boy Writer focuses on the childhood of future the Civil War general, territorial governor of New Mexico (during the days of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War) and author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ. It features young Lew Wallace who hates school but loves to read and explore. His father was the sixth governor of Indiana.  Young Lew Wallace had access to the state's library and quickly fell in love with books.

The details of Wallace's adult life are not left out or just glossed over as an afterthought, but the main focus is on Wallace's childhood. This is a very simple read and for me, an enjoyable reminder of my own childhood.

These books can be found on Amazon.com here and here.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed on August 2, 2012.

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