An awesome blurb from Julianna Baggott, author of Ever Breath and The Prince of Fenway Park:
"Gayle Brandeis has written a richly complex novel in the voice of her brilliant, courageous, funny, young heroine Mina Edelman. Through her whip-smart perceptions, we watch one family struggle through the turbulent 60s -- the Vietnam War, feminism, and some of the most heated moments of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago. Just as Mina sees deep connections between the nation's struggles in the 60s to those of Lincoln's presidency, readers will naturally draw correlations to present-day America -- essential ones."My first review, a decent one from Publishers Weekly (although I think they make the book sound deathly serious; of course it deals with serious issues, but it's actually quite funny):
My Life with the Lincolns Gayle Brandeis Holt, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9013-0And a link where you can hear the first couple of minutes from the audio version of the book.
In her first novel for children, adult author Brandeis entwines two historical periods through the voice of narrator Mina, who is convinced that her family members are the Lincolns reincarnated (“my three main tasks were: 1. Get through age 12 without dropping dead [like Lincoln’s son, Willie]. 2. Stop Mom from going crazy. 3. Stop Dad from getting shot in the skull”). Mina’s overexuberant father invites Mina along as he joins the civil rights movement in 1960s Chicago, and they are soon participating in marches and prayer vigils, while becoming increasingly involved with a black woman and her son. Brandeis doesn’t sidestep the brazen and discomforting inequality that existed, nor the often violent reactions to integration. She weaves in tidbits of Lincoln’s life, while subtly showing readers how history repeats itself (even as Mina works to avoid just that). Familial tension, heightened by disagreements over their involvement in “the movement,” leads to an emotional climax at—where else?—the Lincoln Memorial. This strong showing should leave readers with a trove of Lincoln trivia and gratitude for the contributions of civil rights pioneers. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)
It's not a sandwich board, but I think my mom would approve.