Monument Maker: Daniel Chester French And The Lincoln Memorial

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, fifteen-year-old Dan French had no way to know that one day his tribute to the great president would transform a plot of Washington, DC marshland into America’s gathering place. He did not even know that a sculptor was something to be. He only knew that he liked making things with his hands. This is the story of how a farmboy became America’s foremost sculptor. After failing at academics, Dan was working the family farm when he idly carved a turnip into a frog and discovered what he was meant to do. Sweeney’s swift prose and Fields’s evocative illustrations capture the single-minded determination with which Dan taught himself to sculpt and launched his career with the famous Minuteman Statue in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. This is also the story of the Lincoln Memorial, French’s culminating masterpiece. Thanks to this lovingly created tribute to the towering leader of Dan’s youth, Abraham Lincoln lives on as the man of marble, his craggy face and careworn gaze reminding millions of seekers what America can be. Dan’s statue is no lifeless figure, but a powerful, vital touchstone of a nation’s ideals. Now Dan French has his tribute too, in this exquisite biography that brings history to life for young readers.

Stone Giant

Michelangelo saw something–someone–special in the stone. No one wanted the “giant.” The hulking block of marble lay in the work yard, rained on, hacked at, and abandoned—until a young Michelangelo saw his David in it. This is the story of how a neglected, discarded stone became a masterpiece for all time. It is also a story of how humans see themselves reflected in art.

The Santero’s Miracle: A Bilingual Story

In this bilingual story of faith, Don Jacobo has a dream that, in the end, is a reminder that miracles do happen. Jacobo is teaching his visiting grandson Andrés how to become a santero. Christmas is coming, snow is falling in the village, and the two are working on a carving of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers. The half-finished carving stands in the living room beside the two oxen and the angel that don Jacobo carved earlier in the month. The snow-covered mountains are beautiful, but the road to the village is impassable. Andrés’s parents will not be able to get to the house for the holiday, and Jacobo’s neighbor Leopoldo is desperately ill but cannot get to the hospital. Then comes Jacobo’s dream; San Isidro is plowing with the two oxen and the angel is helping. \”But we don’t plow ’til April\” don Jacobo muses upon awakening. \”What does it mean?\” The night had been bitterly cold and don Jacobo must bundle up to go to the barn to feed his cows and chickens. As he steps outside, he can hardly believe his eyes. The snow-packed road is clear. Rudolfo Anaya’s story of the power of faith, hope, and love will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Americas Award For Children’s And Young Adult Literature. Commended (Awards)