Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MY LIFE WITH THE LINCOLNS by Gayle Brandeis

MY LIFE WITH THE LINCOLNS

By Gayle Brandeis

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9013-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

Twelve-year-old Mina Edelman is convinced that her family is the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln’s. Her father has the same initials and also cares passionately about social justice, sneaking her off to hear Martin Luther King and participate in fair-housing protests in Chicago. But when he brings his idealism home to suburban Downers Grove, 1960s violence touches their own lives and divides her family. Brandeis has created an appealing, quirky protagonist, still childlike in her sensibilities and understanding. Convinced that she is going to die young, like her almost-namesake Willie Lincoln, she diagnoses the pain in her developing breasts as incipient heart failure. She worries that her mother will go crazy and her father will be assassinated. Middle-school readers will know better but enjoy this humorous first-person glimpse into her misconstrued world. Adults don’t see so clearly, either. In her first novel for young readers, the author goes beyond usual stories of the civil-rights movement, demonstrating well-intentioned but tone-deaf gestures of white supporters and the discomfort of change. (Historical fiction. 10-14)