Monday, April 30, 2012

Among Schoolchildren, by Tracy Kidder

Read in 1990

Tracy Kidder received permission to "sit" in Mrs. Zajac's 5th grade class at Kelly school in  Holyoke, CO - where she grew up to become a teacher - for a whole school year.  We are introduced to all her pupils, their backgrounds, their personalities, pleasures, pain and problems.  One child in particular becomes not only Mrs. Zajac's "cross to bear", but the one she simply refuses to give up on.  All the children become family and dear to the reader.  It is a very sad day for the reader, author and teacher when Clarence is sent ot another school - one wonders what became of him. 

Tracy gave us yet another  well-paced, well-written book  ----  good insights into terrible teaching conditions nationally at that time.  Have teaching conditions changed for the better or worse?  Maybe someday he will revisit this theme.

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