Lincoln’s Grave Robbers

lincolns-grave-robbersLincoln’s Grave Robbers

By Steve Sheinkin

New York:  Scholastic, 2012

Pages 214

Grades 5 and up.


Bad guys who like to make counterfeit money, bribe everyone, steal dead corpses and the good guy crime fighters sounds like the perfect mix for a thrilling fiction novel set back in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.  It is thrilling but this story, is true crime!  Sheinkin has taken many little known facts about crime in this era and has written this engaging story of the men who conspired to steal President Abraham Lincoln’s body in exchange for cash and a prisoner—Benjamin Boyd.  Boyd almost single handedly brought down the United States economy with his skillful counterfeit bills.  “By 1864 an astounding 50 percent of the money in circulation was fake”(28). What makes this even more exciting Ben Boyd hails from Cincinnati, Ohio as well William Cunningham who was a notorious body snatcher.  Ghouls, as they were affectionately called might have held a couple of bodies for ransom but the real money was to be made by medical schools needing fresh bodies for students to practice on. Short chapters and some interesting pictures make this a great read!


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