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Mr. Lincolns Way – Alexandria’s Book Review

Submitted by on May 13, 2013 – 2:05 pmNo Comment

Mr. Lincoln's Way - Patricia Polacco - Alexandra's Book Review

Book Review: Mr. Lincolns Way


By Alexandra Battle

Patricia Polacco was born in Lansing, Michigan, and lived a long time both there and in Oakland, California. Even now the most influential presences in her life have been that of her grandparents—and she pays tribute to that by including a strong bond between a child and an elderly person in each of her children’s books.

I had some trouble finding a book this month, and would never have found this wonderful one if not for my mom, to whom I’m extremely grateful. It has a great story and message, and the art’s not too bad either!

Mr. Lincoln is the best principal ever, without a doubt. No strictness and off-putting attitude from him—he interacts with all of his students, from kindergarten up to sixth grade. Everyone gets his time of day, and even his time after the day is done. The teachers like him; the parents really like him; and the kids adore him.

Well—all the kids except a boy by the name of Eugene Esterhause.

Eugene is better known around school as “Mean Gene”, and he lives up to the nickname. He bullies kids of all ages, talks back to the teachers, and generally makes any area he’s present in a living nightmare. For Mr. Lincoln, though, the last straw is when he insults both a first grader and the principal himself, using very derogatory slurs to do it. At this point, there is no other option. Mr. Lincoln himself must find out what’s bothering Eugene enough for him to take it out on other kids.

As he watches Eugene, he notices that the boy is interested in birds, and able to identify many different kinds. But when he approaches him directly about this, Eugene only shrugs the principal off, or closes up.

At last, Mr. Lincoln gives Eugene a bird on books and a task—to entice the local birds back to the school’s atrium. But will Eugene even do it, or will he decide that bullying is easier than being a team player? And will he throw away his old prejudices with it?

The book’s out there if you want to find out! Though I haven’t read any of Ms. Polacco’s other works, I would highly recommend any I knew of.

Alex BattleAlexandria Battle is a long time contributor to North Texas Kids. A recent high school graduate, Alexandria is currently attending Cornell University in New York and comes back to the DFW area for breaks. She loves to read and share her thoughts. Her goal is to publish her own book.


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