Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

The Eye That Never Sleeps

How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

by Marissa Moss

illustrations by Jeremy Holmes


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The Eye That Never Sleeps

How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

by Marissa Moss
illustrations by Jeremy Holmes

Review posted September 3, 2020.
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2018. 48 pages.
Starred Review
Review written November 7, 2018, from a library book.
2018 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
#7 Children's Nonfiction Picture Books

This picture book biography is a fun and entertaining – while factual – story of how the detective Allan Pinkerton became a detective and ended up saving President Lincoln and founding the Secret Service.

The illustrator gave the pages the look of the time but with contemporary colors. Pinkerton fled Scotland on his wedding day, and this story is told with the pictures as well as the text. The Pinkerton agency eventually became known as “the eye that never sleeps,” and Pinkerton’s eyes – and the direction of his vision – are highlighted in orange throughout the book.

The complete package of words and pictures here keeps you turning pages, with the illustrations including panels that almost give the book a graphic novel feel.

Pinkerton did keep Lincoln safe after uncovering a plot to assassinate him when he was first elected. They used a decoy and sent him to Washington by a different route. The book also includes how Pinkerton became a detective and how he was the reason the term “private eye” was coined.

A fun and suspenseful story that’s also true.