Chain Gang Elementary

Chain Gang Elementary

by Jonathan Grant


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983492108
Publisher: Jonathan Grant
Publication date: 07/14/2011
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Grant is an award-winning writer and editor (The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia). He publishes Georgia Colleges (, a news website covering educational issues.

His new novel, Chain Gang Elementary (Thornbriar Press), tells the tragicomic story of a war between a reform-minded PTA president and an authoritarian principal. A Thousand Miles to Freedom, his screenplay based on the real-life adventures of escaped slaves William and Ellen Craft, was recently optioned to a Hollywood producer.

Grant grew up on a Midwestern farm and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English. He is a former newspaper journalist and served for several years as a Georgia state government spokesman. He lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and two children. Actively involved in community affairs, he has been a PTA president at a five-star School of Excellence, an elected member of his local school council, and a soccer coach for twelve seasons.

You may contact him at

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Chain Gang Elementary 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Heathergerl More than 1 year ago
Maybe I'm just biased because I'm a teacher, but...I loved this book! I completely related to the shady politics of public schools, the idea that "no good deed goes unpunished," and the endless fight for doing what is right by kids, not by finances, politics, or climbing the district ladder. I like that the story has scandals, secrets, mysteries, crimes, and romance...and it's well-written too! The author is hilariously sarcastic, and refreshingly intelligent. A good read, for sure :)
Randal37 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I was not really expecting this type of book when I started reading it. I did like the main character for the most part and it was easy to understand where he was coming from. I did have a difficult time keeping interested into the book because it mostly revolves around the politics of the school. I will have to say that the book did have a fast and interesting ending that I really did enjoy.
lizamichelle1 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I do not think I will ever join a PTO after reading this novel! The politics involved, the backstabbing, the affairs, the arrests and the children caught in the middle. Oh, did I forget the mild racism?I bet this type of thing goes on almost all the PTOs at schools where it is the pinnacle of excellence in comparison to other schools in its district.Sometimes you have to move away... Awesome book! Would recommend.
ilex011 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it. School politics, corrupt PTAs, intrigue and suspicion- it's all here in the backdrop of an elementary school. A very unique plot and perspective provides the foundation of realistic and believable characters and characterizations. If you enjoy thrillers, this is quite a different take on what you think is a familiar theme! Very enjoyable and recommended. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MomsBookShelfandMore More than 1 year ago
Richard Gray was a Father of an elementary school boy in a school district filled with drama. Gray was thrust into the world of PTO and the politics that goes with it. When the prestige school is faced with redistricting and the addition of the “apartment kids” or the poor kids and low test scores the school and PTO is in an up rise and the social battle of a lifetime. Chain Gang Elementary is one of the longest, grueling book I have read in a very long time. The plot seemed to drag on forever with a lot of small talk and chit chat between a lengthy list of characters and small roles. The main character Richard Gray was surrounded by a world of women and politics leading to a lot of back and forth conversations throughout the book making it difficult to follow and stay attentive. The book only became page turning and attention grabbing towards the end of the book, if a reader was to keep reading that far the ending of the book would be rewarding and worth the read. I felt it was very difficult sticking with the book but I must admit the last handful of chapters really intrigued me with deep plots and impeccable writing. While I recommend this book take heed only for the very dedicated reader who will stick through the very long, small print book to the sugar coated page turning plot towards the end. Jonathan Grant is a good creative writer though my copy had several spelling and grammatical errors the books print was quite small and may be hard for some to read. On a scale of 1-5 stars, I would rate this book a 2 simply because it took so long to get anywhere near the interesting turn of events that actually sparked my interest in this book. The majority of the book was boring and filled with back and forth small talk dragging on forever bouncing my attention all over the place finding it very difficult to keep track of the story line.