The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

illus. by Jeremy Holmes. 48p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. Abrams. Nov. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419730641.
Gr 2–4—This quirkily illustrated biography of Allan Pinkerton, the man who created the Pinkerton agency, focuses on a thwarted assassination attempt of the newly elected President Lincoln. Born and raised in Scotland, Pinkerton began his career promoting workers' rights and eventually had to flee to the United States to escape the British government. A keen observer, he went on to start a successful detective agency, cultivating a growing reputation for professionalism and success. In 1860, he was hired by a railroad company to protect the line from secessionists who were threatening to blow up the tracks around Washington, DC. While investigating, Pinkerton uncovered a plot to ambush and kill Lincoln. Moss evokes a mysterious and exciting old-fashioned tale of espionage here. Holmes's carefully researched artwork, which he explains in a note, was inspired by newspaper mastheads, period fashion, and even board games from the era. The artist created a digital scratchboard to make the engaging illustrations, which are rendered in comic-style panels throughout, with a muted orange, brown, and violet color pallet.
VERDICT A great pick for kids who can't get enough spy stories. Purchase in libraries where history and biography are in demand.

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