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My Life with the Lincolns
Gayle Brandeis

Henry Holt and Co. / Macmillan
March 16, 2010 / ISBN 0805090134
Children Fiction / Ages 9-12

Reviewed by Willie Elliott


First-time author Gayle Brandeis captures the humor and determination of twelve-year-old Mina Edelman in her novel for young readers My Life with the Lincolns.
Mina is convinced that she and her family are the Lincolns reincarnated. Based on history she has two major tasks: protect her father from assassination and her mother from insanity--not to mention saving her own life since she is the incarnate (or so she believes) of Willie Lincoln.

The connection between the two families is based on far-fetched reasoning. For example the father's name is Albert Branch Edelman, and at age six she sees the initials ABE and she is of looking for other hints, all of which are very tenuous and very funny. Mina’s report on Abraham Lincoln is a masterpiece in humor and one teachers would love to see come across their desks.

Mina's father does not make life any easier (although a lot funnier) when he quits his business and joins the peace movement. These meetings provide many examples of humor although it was not so funny for Mina at the time.

Even though the novel is targeted for young readers (9-12), it would be a quick and entertaining read for adults, and it offers some insight to the civil rights movement.

Reviewer's Note:

Reviewed 2011
© 2011