Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mr. Lincoln's Way

Cover art for MR. LINCOLN’S WAY

Author & Illustrator:   Patricia Polacco
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Year:  2001
Location: Personal Collection

Awards:   Jean B. BellavanceYoung Reader's Choice, California Young Reader Medal, 

Summary: The principal Mr. Lincoln is beloved by everyone in the school except the bully "Mean Gene." Gene calls everyone names, including using a racial slur for Mr. Lincoln; but Mr. Lincoln keeps trying to find a way to reach Gene. One day he notices Eugene watching the birds outside the atrium window and gets the idea to get his help in attracting more birds . Gene has learned a lot about birds from his Grampa and he & Mr. Lincoln work together. Fighting against Eugene's father's bigotry, Mr. Lincoln tries to teach the him about accepting  and respecting of all his “little birds,” both feathered and human. When the ducklings hatch, Eugene and Mr. Lincoln lead them safely to the pond where their parents wait.

Classroom Ideas: The themes of tolerance and respect in this book are strong and would lend themselves well to being used by a guidance counselor. It also has strong characters in Mr. Lincoln and Eugene, and it would even be interesting to see what inferences kids could make about Eugene's family from the text clues.

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