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Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Forget it! Another home run for Rafe Esquith and the Hobart Shakespeareans!"

    That's how the great Dodgers announcer Vin Scully might call the release of this book, Rafe Esquith's third volume of insights into teaching and parenting.

    The living legend Vin Scully comes to mind for two reasons: first, Esquith's new book tells the story of a night at Dodgers game with five of his students, where they go to further their education about America's pastime; second, because Vinnie's love for the game, his passion for excellence, his dedication to his craft, and his gift for making work and play become one are all qualities Rafe Esquith works daily to instill in his inner-city Los Angeles fifth graders.

    Like thousands of others of teachers over the years, I've been welcomed as a visitor into Room 56 at Hobart Elementary, and it's a place where you always feel better when you leave than you did coming in. Why? You come away with a sense of hope for the future, I suppose. This book is the same way -- even dipping into various chapters in the bookstore when I first saw it, I felt, as a parent and teacher, encouraged, inspired, cheered on.

    For decades, as a teacher hungry for wisdom and mentorship, I have perused the Education section of bookstores. Over time I have obtained a shelf-full of very good books on progressive education and some gripping first-person stories. I find them all interesting and inspiring. But this book may be the first one I'll come back to and re-read in times of trouble. It is a truth-telling "Day in the Life" snapshot of a journey that is ongoing, a journey that is difficult, fun, painful, joyous, revelatory, numbing, all of those things, and also very, very important.

    Esquith, a veteran of a quarter of a century at Hobart Elementary, happily and humbly admits that his teaching becomes better every year, thanks to his students. So does his writing about his teaching. I look forward to his fourth book a few years from now!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Wonderful insights into motivating kids.

    I am very impressed with the ideas supported in this book. It talks about how to get kids to motivate from the inside rather than always using external rewards. I chose to rate it a 5 star though there were a few things to which I did not agree. Still overall a good read and insightful information.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Oh well

    The person I purchased this book for has a child that is so hyper that I almost wanted to purchase him a motorcycle helmet instead. I thought this book was a better choice. She didn't. She wrote me a thank you note and said in a very clipped manner "thanks for the interesting book." eek. She was not a happy camper, but let's face it, with a kid like that who could be happy.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Must Read for All Parents and Educators

    Shares timeless principles to develop all children into extraordinary children. Wish I had read when my children were younger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

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