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Polacco, Patricia.
New York : Philomel, 2001.
IL K-3, RL 4.2
ISBN 0399237542

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal in the world. Eugene is the school bully, from a family whose Dad has "an ugly name for just about everybody that's different from us." Gene is sent to Mr. Lincoln's office after he calls an African American first grader a nasty name. How can Mr. Lincoln, who is also African American, help Gene? Read Mr. Lincoln's Way, see if YOU think he's one cool principal!   (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)

Booktalk #2

As teachers or students at some point will we run into a student who is stuck in a very angry place? This anger can reveal itself in bullying and intolerant behavior toward others. Eugene had two problems: he had been taken away from a loving grandfather whom he missed and he was receiving some very bad messages from home. A teacher or administrator who takes the time to find out what is behind such behavior and if there is a key to open the child’s heart, can often change a student’s life forever. Ms. Polacco has again revealed the value of a teacher’s involvement in a troubled student’s life through wonderful illustrations and a touching story.

Prepared by: Marcia S. Russo for The South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005

Booktalk #3

Eugene “Mean Gene” Esterhause was the only kid in the school who did not think Mr. Lincoln was the coolest principal ever.  All the other kids saw the neat things that Mr. Lincoln did.  “He had tea parties with Mrs. West’s kindergarten every spring. He took Mr. Bliss’s sixth-graders on nature walks in the fall.  He set up his telescope next to the pond in the back of school on special nights and invited kids and their families to come and look at the stars.”   Mean Gene was too busy being trouble, with a capital “T,” to notice anything like that.
                         Not only did Eugene sass teachers and beat up kids, he called anyone who looked different than him awful names.  And Mr. Lincoln looked different than Eugene.
                         Mr. Lincoln did not think Gene was a bad boy, not really.  He knew he had to find a way to reach the young boy.  For a time it seemed he had found a way, when he discovered something near and dear to Eugene’s heart.  But an incident threatened to undo any progress that had been made.
                         Was it possible for Mr. Lincoln, the coolest teacher ever, to find a way to reach the meanest bully ever, Eugene  “Mean Gene” Esterhause?  Find out by reading Patricia Polacco’s Mr. Lincoln’s Way.  (Gail A. King,,  USC, School of Library & Information Science)

SUBJECTS:     Prejudices -- Fiction.
                        Birds -- Fiction.
                        School principals -- Fiction.
                        Teacher-student relationships -- Fiction.
                        Bullies -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.


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