[note note_color=”#d85132″ text_color=”#ffffff”]The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen • October 25, 2016 • Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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My secret life is filled with psychic vampires, wheelchair zombies, chain-rattlin’ ghosts, and a one-eyed cat. But they’re nothing compared to my real-life stalker: a sixth-grade girl named Kandi Kain. . . .
Lincoln Jones is always working on the latest story he’s got going in his notebook. Those stories are his refuge. A place where the hero always prevails and the bad guy goes to jail. Real life is messy and complicated, so Lincoln sticks to fiction and keeps to himself. Which works fine until a nosy girl at his new school starts prying into his private business. She wants to know what he’s writing, where he disappears to after school, and why he never talks to anybody. . . .[/note]
[note note_color=”#BFD1D1″ text_color=”#ffffff”]I received this book for free from Random House for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.[/note]
First sentence: “Ruby Hobbs came out of her room, dancing and singing, buck naked, again. “
THE THINGS YOU’LL FIND IN THE SECRET LIFE OF LINCOLN JONES
- You get a boy who throws himself in his story.
Lincoln Jones is a storyteller. His huge imagination has to be put down into words. He creates stories about a killer chasing after his hero and silver cats that appear out of thin air. You’ll find him somewhere writing in his journal that he doesn’t let anybody see. He throws himself in his story when his classmates treat him poorly; his stories are his safe haven.
- You get a boy who has trouble making friends.
Being the new kid sucks for Lincoln. He’s constantly picked on, and Lincoln, who isn’t a confrontational kid, doesn’t say anything and lets them, choosing to ignore everything and escape into his stories. He doesn’t make friends easily, and it doesn’t help him when he’s not making the effort to try. That causes him to be an outcast.
- You get a girl who likes to bother Lincoln and doesn’t know when to quit.
Kandi Kain (yes that is her real name) is someone that Lincoln doesn’t like very much. She’s nosy, always asking Lincoln questions about things she has no business asking and following him when he just wants to be left alone. Kandi is annoying sometimes, but harmless; she has good intentions at heart, but she can be very forward in her attempts. She’s like Lincoln’s fairy godmother, who tries to fix his “problems,” even though it makes Lincoln uncomfortable.
- A mom is doing the best juggling caring for her son and taking care of the elderly.
Lincoln’s mother is doing her best to support herself and Lincoln. Having escaped from an abusive relationship, she does her best to make sure that she can support their family. She spends most of her time working late at an old folks home. For Lincoln, it’s not fun to go to the old folks home every day after school, but that’s the only way his mother can know he’s safe. He doesn’t always understand her, but he appreciates what his mom is doing for them, especially when she comes back home so exhausted.
- It explores the craziness and sadness that goes on in an old folks’ home.
It’s tough at an old folks’ home. Lincoln doesn’t know exactly what’s wrong with these old folks. They aren’t right in the head to him, so he creates overly imaginative stories about psychic vampires and whatnot to make sense of what he doesn’t quite understand. This book deals with death and what a person feels to see someone forget or lose their minds or their ability to function normally. It doesn’t get too heavy that will depress readers.
Should you read The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones? Yeah. Lincoln Jones just wants to write and be left alone, but that’s just not in the cards for him when he is constantly around old folks who are losing their minds and shout-asking his name; a stalker in the form of the ridiculously named Kandi Kain; and classmates who bully him for no good reason. You’d want to see how Lincoln deals with everything and what he learns about himself and the people around him.