Fletcher, a freelance writer, visits classrooms in the New York City schools to teach writing. Here, he describes his activities. Inspired by Lucy Calkins of the Columbia University Writing Project, he draws teachers into a new approach to writing. Fletcher's early encounters often prove frustrating, and his description of a typical uncooperative teacher as a ``snarling lump of inertia'' will make educators uncomfortable. At the end, Fletcher reveals that not only have the students and teachers learned, but he too has acquired a wisdom that he lacked in the beginning. This easy-to-read book joins the ranks of others, like Nancie Atwell's In the Middle (Heinemann, 1987), that report on the teaching of writing in the classroom. For informed laypersons and specialists.--Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist . , N.Y.