Here lies Linc

Delia Ray

Book - 2011

While researching a rumored-to-be-haunted grave for a local history project, twelve-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw unearths some startling truths about his own family.

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New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2011.
1st ed
Physical Description
308 p. : map
Main Author
Delia Ray (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Homeschooled 12-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw transfers to public school, hoping to find "regular" kids like himself. Linc is mortified when he learns that his class is starting an Adopt-a-Grave Project, and his mother, an expert on burial customs, is leading a tour of the graveyard. Embarrassed, Linc tries for coolness by researching the Black Angel, the scariest grave in the cemetery. As Linc and a new friend uncover the truth, he also discovers a secret linked to his own family. The setting and can't-miss premise—based on a real legend—are sure to draw kids in, but it is the warm depiction of Linc's adolescent struggles to separate from yet hold on to family that is the heart of this book. The two mysteries are unusual, in that real kids could encounter and solve them, and readers unravel the puzzle along with Linc. Ray does a fine job with the characters, avoiding many of the social clichés. There's plenty of humor, including a terrific graveyard Greek chorus and actual epitaphs that lead off each chapter. A fresh, charming read-aloud. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–7—Iowa City's Oakland Cemetery and legends about its Black Angel monument feature strongly in this suspenseful though warmhearted tale of family intrigue. Linc Raintree Crenshaw and his vaguely eccentric mom, Lottie Landers, a professor who studies burial customs, live in a house bordering the cemetery. Linc is stressed about starting junior high after having attended the small, private Home-Away-From-Home School, and Lottie seems unable to talk about her husband, whose sudden death soon after they moved to Iowa City has left Linc with unanswered questions. An Adopt-a-Grave assignment lands Linc in a fine mess when he steals a key to a crypt to impress the guys at school. His changing relationships with a diverse cast of interesting characters are central: old friend and cemetery handyman Jeeter; new, almost cartoonishly uncivil cemetery warden Kilgore; former classmate Mellecker, now a seventh-grade big wheel who surprises Linc with his friendship; the mysterious woman who visits the Raintree gravesite each Monday; elderly neighbor Mr. Krasny, who helps Linc translate the strange epitaph on the base of the Black Angel; and new girl Delaney, who has an adventurous spirit and great concern for her pregnant mother, who lost her last baby. Additional poignancy arises from discovering the facts of Linc's dad's birth. The satisfying resolution occurs when Delaney and Linc present their reports in situ-at the cemetery. Epitaphs are used as chapter epigraphs, and an author's note delineates fact from fiction.—Joel Shoemaker, formerly at South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA [Page 168]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

While researching a rumored-to-be-haunted grave for a local history project, twelve-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw unearths some startling truths about his own family.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When 12-year-old Linc Crenshaw decides he wants to go to public school, his professor mom isn't so happy with the idea. He's convinced it will be the ticket to a new social life. Instead, it's a disaster when his mom shows up at their field trip to the local cemetery to lecture them on gravestones, and Linc sees her through his fellow-students' eyes. He's convinced his chances at a social life are over until a cemetery-related project makes him sought-after by fellow students he's not so sure he wants as friends, helps him make a new, genuine friend, and brings to light some information about his family that upends his world.Delia Ray has written a funny, heartfelt story about a lonely kid and his mother as they ultimately cope with the grief left behind from his dad's death, and along the journey find new ways to connect with each other, and their community.