Review: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie That Saved the Union

Yes, the title is a mouthful, but it is reflective of the Middle-grade audience that the book is geared for.

Abe Lincoln


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.

Length: 304 Pages

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: January 12, 2015

About the Author

David Potter developed a love for American history as a boy growing up near Morristown, New Jersey, where George Washington spent the winters of 1777 and 1779. He became interested in the Civil War era after attending reenactments, memorials, and celebrations at the Gettysburg National Military Park during the 150th anniversary in 2013. You can visit David online at, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @DPotterBooks.


If you have elementary-age kids at home, this is a fun read set place during the Civil War. The time travel aspect will be sure to delight kids, as they still get to keep their cell phones while they have dinner with President Lincoln, and fight again confederate soldiers.

One thing I found strange was that quite a few pages were dedicated to Lincoln’s wife and her obsession with seances. Frankly, I don’t think my kids need to be focusing on someone’s need to communicate with the dead…even if it historically accurate.

I also felt that there were a couple instances of false advertising. One being that the title is,  Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union, and yet I still don’t know how Abe Lincoln’s Selfie did anything other than make him wonder if he really looked so terrible to other people. Shouldn’t he have been a bit more shocked by modern day technology?

The second instance is that this new series is being advertised as the next step after your kiddos have outgrown The Magic Tree House Series. Having read a couple of those books, I am going to have to disagree with that assessment.

Although this book does include some historical facts about the Civil War at the end, it didn’t include enough during the book for me to regard it as very educational. It is a fun read that might get kids interested in history, but I thought the Magic Tree House series was much more informative.

All in all, I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars


No offensive material


Abe Lincoln and the Selfie That Saved the Union is available digitally, as well as in hard-back and audio CD. You can purchase it by clicking the link below.

Happy Reading!