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No Matter What: Caring, Coping, Compassion

The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones

Wendelin Van Draanen


Grades 4 - 7

Lincoln Jones has a life so secret, only his mother knows where he's from, why they left, or the place he's living now. More importantly, none of the kids in his new 6th grade class know where he goes after school. After all, if they think his "Southern drawl" is funny, imagine what they'd do knowing he hangs out at a dementia-care facility where his mother works as a caregiver. To escape the real world, Lincoln writes stories in a notebook. Stories about young heroes with courage and power. Underdogs who somehow come out on top. This is a story of a boy who's closed the world out for so long, he's not sure how to let anyone in. Winner of the Bank Street College of Education's 2017 Josette Frank Award.

About the Author

Wendelin Van Draanen has written more than 30 novels for young readers and teens, several of which have won awards. Learn more about her at

Wendelin Van Draanen

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