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
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)
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.
by: Marcia S. Russo for The
South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005
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
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
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
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.
USC, School of Library & Information Science)