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Here Lies Linc

Here Lies Linc

5.0 6
by Delia Ray

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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


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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
Lincoln, age twelve, is all too familiar with graveyards. His eccentric mother, a history professor, studies burial customs and they live next door to the Oakland Cemetery, in Oakland, Iowa, where Linc's father is buried. Linc hangs out with the cemetery groundskeeper and happily walks his funny-looking dog, C.B., among the graves. But now that Linc is in Grade 7 in a public school, instead of a tiny private school, one of his first assignments turns out to be an Adopt-a-Grave research project in Oakland Cemetery—with his mother as a visiting expert, much to his embarrassment. In an effort to impress the cool kids in his class, Linc chooses to research the mysterious, looming Black Angel monument, said to be cursed. He also steals a key to a cemetery vault and makes an enemy of the nasty new cemetery warden. In the process of researching the history of the Black Angel, Linc makes a new friend, pretty Delaney, whose research reveals some surprising secrets about Linc's family. Linc is an appealing and believable protagonist, even if the novel's threads wrap up too neatly at the end. The amusing (and real) tombstone epitaphs at the start of each chapter add to the tale's considerable humor and charm, though the subject matter may have limited appeal. The Black Angel itself is real, as an Author's Note at the end reveals, and a list of selected sources is included. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews

Can Linc hope for anything near a normal life when his widowed mother is an absent-minded professor specializing in burial customs?

Twelve-year-old Lincoln Raintree Crenshaw Junior knows it will be a difficult transition when he transfers to public school from "Home-Away-From-Home-School" (several faculty children—Ho-Hos—taught together in Dr. Lindstrom's basement). He didn't know his first official field trip would be to the Oakland Cemetery, which is literally in his backyard...or that his mother, Dr. Charlotte Landers, would be the one leading the tour. He convinces her to pretend he's just another student, but of course that goes horribly wrong. In an attempt to be cool, he decides he'll use the supposedly cursed Black Angel monument for his adopt-a-grave research project. Instead of cool he gets a heap of trouble from the new cemetery "warden," Mr. Kilgore, and a mysterious connection, through his father, to a grave adopted by another new student. Ray's tale, which centers around a real legend, strikes the perfect balance of humor, realistic chills and near-teen angst. Linc's problems with his eccentric mother, their shared grief over his father's unexpected death and Linc's trials at school are expertly woven into the dual mysteries: the real story of the Black Angel and a secret from his father's past.

Actual epitaphs from across the globe kick off each chapter for extra funereal fun. (Mystery. 9-12)

Product Details

Perfection Learning Corporation
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

When DELIA RAY was little, she and her sister and their cousin invented the Brave Girl Club as a way to make the long, hot summers in Tidewater, Virginia, a little more exciting. They dared each other to perform all sorts of daunting challenges—swims across an algae-covered, snake-infested pond, for example, or solo trips to the second story of an old, abandoned farmhouse hidden deep in the woods. Delia says she still uses her Brave Girl training today whenever she's conducting research for her books, which have taken her on adventures from the Yukon Territory in Canada to cemeteries spread across the state of Iowa. Between adventures, Delia lives in a house overlooking the Iowa River with her husband, three daughters, and a strange-looking mutt named Griff, who came from the animal shelter and provided the inspiration for C.B. in this book. Here Lies Linc is Delia's third novel for young readers.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Here Lies Linc 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked his book it was entertaning but hated the way the book ended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How long is the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ths book is amazing!! I love it!! I hope you love it as much as i did!! From a curse to no curse at all!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book nice work delia ray!!!!
Mbrennan More than 1 year ago
Here Lies Linc is a great story about the Black Angel!!! It is a fast read. I hope you like it as much as i did!! And if you do like it try other books from this author, Singing Hands, and Ghost Girl!