Mr. Lincoln’s Way

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Author: Patricia Polacco

Grades: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Synopsis: Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal ever! He knows how to do everything, from jumping rope to leading nature walks. Everyone loves him . . . except for Eugene Esterhause. “Mean Gene” hates everyone who’s different. He’s a bully, a bad student, and he calls people awful, racist names. But Mr. Lincoln knows that Eugene isn’t really bad-he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home. Can the principal find a way to get through to “Mean Gene” and show him that the differences between people are what make them special?

Debrief Questions: 

  • Is Eugene happy? Why do you think he bullies other students?
  • Do you think Mr. Lincoln is a good principal? Why?
  • How are people like the birds in the story?
  • Is it hard to help someone who is mean?