When she spoke to him, he was "Mr. President." But in her head, he was Abraham, her friend. Vinnie Ream, a determined young sculptor, became the youngest artist and the first woman to receive a commission from the U.S. government when she was chosen to sculpt the memorial statue of Abraham Lincoln that now stands in the Capitol rotunda.
Like Mr. Lincoln, Vinnie came from humble beginnings, growing up poor in the Wisconsin territory. Early on she displayed a talent for sculpture, but because she had to work to help her family, she was mainly self-taught. When Vinnie moved with her family to Washington, D.C., during the Civil War, Vinnie tirelessly worked toward her goal of becoming an artist. By the time she was sixteen, she was apprenticing for a prominent sculptor and creating busts of several leading politicians who wanted their likenesses cast in stone. She used these connections to finally meet and sculpt the bust of her hero, the president. Vinnie’s story is sure to inspire young readers to work hard to achieve their own goals.
About the Author
Dawn FitzGerald is a former teacher and the author of several books for children, including Getting in the Game and Julia Butterfly Hill: Saving the Redwoods.
Published by Charlesbridge, hardback, 2007. 48 pages. Full-color illustrations. Suggested interest level: ages 5-8