The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones

By: Wendelin Van Draanen

Real life is messy and complicated, so Lincoln sticks to writing stories in his notebook and keeps to himself—which works fine until a nosy girl at his new school starts prying into his private business.

ISBN: 9781101940419

JLG Release: Jan 2017


Sensitive Areas: References to domestic abuse
Topics: Moving households , Schools , Bullying , Mothers and sons , Single-parent families , Nursing homes , Older people , Caring for the elderly , Writing stories , Neighbors , Cats

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PG Middle Plus

Grades 5-8

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Awards & Honors

2017 Josette Frank Award

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

The author of the successful “Sammy Keyes” series introduces sixth grade narrator Lincoln. He and his mother have fled her abusive boyfriend and live in poverty as she tries to pay back her savior sister with the small salary she earns as an aide in a dementia facility. Since Lincoln is legally not allowed to be left alone, he usually m The author of the successful “Sammy Keyes” series introduces sixth grade narrator Lincoln. He and his mother have fled her abusive boyfriend and live in poverty as she tries to pay back her savior sister with the small salary she earns as an aide in a dementia facility. Since Lincoln is legally not allowed to be left alone, he usually meets his mother at work after school and weekends, where he’s badgered by confused residents and witnesses multiple deaths. There’s little escape at school, where he’s bullied because of his Southern accent and aversion to sports. Top it all off with a brassy girl named Kandi Kain, who’s annoyingly obsessed with him. Luckily, Lincoln uses his artistic imagination, which is “as wide as it is deep,” to escape with fantastic stories that mesh with reality. That reality becomes more bearable as the family settle in. They befriend a homeless man and a hoarding neighbor and learn that Lincoln’s classmate’s grandmother is a resident of the facility. Best of all, they use humor to alleviate tough times, such as when they secretly nickname a woman “The Vampire” because a string of her roommates suddenly die, and they come to appreciate the joyous singing of Brookside’s elderly nudist. The seniors’ Thanksgiving food fight is a hoot, and Van Draanen skillfully wraps up her tale in a loop to the beginning, offering a realistically happy ending. VERDICT The large cast leaves one wishing to know more about certain characters, but this is a story with a perfect balance of mirth and poignancy. A fine purchase for larger collections.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Book Details

ISBN

9781101940419

First Release

January 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

Page Count

272

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.6; Points: 8;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.5; Points: 12;

Lexile

Level 740L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition with trade jacket added

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

References to domestic abuse

Topics

Moving households, Schools, Bullying, Mothers and sons, Single-parent families, Nursing homes, Older people, Caring for the elderly, Writing stories, Neighbors, Cats,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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