Among Schoolchildren

Among Schoolchildren

4.1 12
by Tracy Kidder
     
 

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Tracy Kidder — the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of a New Machine and the extraordinary national bestseller House — spent nine months in Mrs. Zajac's fifth-grade classroom in the depressed "Flats" of Holyoke, Massachusetts. For an entire year he lived among twenty schoolchildren and their indomitable, compassionate teacher —

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Overview

Tracy Kidder — the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of a New Machine and the extraordinary national bestseller House — spent nine months in Mrs. Zajac's fifth-grade classroom in the depressed "Flats" of Holyoke, Massachusetts. For an entire year he lived among twenty schoolchildren and their indomitable, compassionate teacher — sharings their joys, their catastrophes, and their small but essential triumphs. As a result, he has written a revealing, remarkably poignant account of education in America . . . and his most memorable, emotionally charged, and important book to date.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Christine Zajac teaches fifth grade in a racially mixed school in a poor district of Holyoke, Mass. About half of her students are Hispanic; many come from broken homes. Through Kidder's calmly detailed re-creation of Zajac's daily round, we come to know her students' fears and inmost strivings; we also share this teacher's frustrations, loneliness and the rush of satisfaction that comes with helping students learn. It's a tough job: in one social studies class, half the pupils can't name the country they live in. Kidder ( House ; The Soul of a New Machine ) writes with sensitivity of Zajac's Irish-Catholic roots, of the need for educational reform and of the Holyoke Puerto Ricans' struggles for equality and success. We see Kelly School as a compelling microcosm of what is wrong--and right--with our educational system. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Many readers have come to expect that anything authored by Kidder ( House, LJ 8/85; Soul of a New Machine, LJ 8/81) will be of high merit. This latest nonfiction work is no exception. It tells in detail the story of a young teacher's daily life and work in the Kelly School, a part of the Holyoke, Massachusetts school system. From September to June, Chris Zajac, a caring, dedicated teacher struggles with the nearly superhuman task of teaching inner-city children, many from impoverished and broken homes. Her pupils are often ill-fed, victims of severe neglect, or worse. Readers will become engrossed in her daily battle to teach these youngsters. (Over half stay up until 12:30 a.m. to watch TV). She agonizes over her pupils, one Clarence in particular. Kidder allows the reader to savor the small daily victories and taste the angst of failure. A warm, honest, refreshingly positive look inside a classroom. Essential for most libraries.-- Annette V. Janes, Hamilton P.L., Mass.
Booknews
Another good Kidder book. This dealing with the day-to-day activity of teaching (and maintaining a climate in which learning is feasible). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380710898
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/1990
Series:
Quill
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
472,614
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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