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From the PublisherPraise for I Am a Pencil:
"If only Swope's book were a lesson plan we could follow."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
"It's really hard to communicate the sheer pleasure in teaching, and really connecting with, students like the ones Swope describes in such rich and generous detail. Is there a book that more convincingly demonstrates that any students, anywhere, from any backgrounds or surmounting any obstacles, can be led to love poetry, to read like madmen, to write compulsively and be open to the possibilities of the word on the page? I Am a Pencil should be read by anyone who wants to find inspiration in today's students, teachers and the Sam Swopes that enhance the lives of both."-Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
"How I want to be in Mr. Swope's class, where words are gift-wrapped and the worst thing you can be is boring. Throughout the story of three captivating years, it becomes very clear what Swope and his students have in common: Their writing is powerful, beautiful, original and sweet."-Linda Perlstein, author of Not Much, Just Chillin'
"A magical journey. Sam Swope clearly has a gift for inspiring in others the make-believe, and so it's a treat to watch as he taps the imaginings of his immigrant students, and in doing so discover the realities of their newfound lives here."-Alex Kotlowitz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of There Are No Children Here