Back To School 1

Posted Sep 7, 2018

Autumn is just around the corner, and school is about to start.  This week’s #FridayReads feature some titles from our adult fiction collection that have a school theme.

Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld

Karen Kipple is trying to be the best person she can be.  She works for a non-profit organization that feeds disadvantaged youth; she supports local businesses even though their products are subpar compared to big box stores; and she sends her daughter Ruby to the neighborhood integrated urban public school.  Karen values diversity, and although she doesn’t quite approve of some of the cultural norms (like twerking), Ruby is thriving at her school… until a bully starts to terrorize the classroom.  After Ruby’s best friend is pulled from the school, Karen begins to worry about her own daughter’s safety.  Exploring ethical dilemmas surrounding race, class, education, marriage, and morals, Rosenfeld’s novel Class gives readers several grey areas to think about and discuss.

In the Fall They Come Back by Robert Bausch

In his first job after graduate school, Ben Jameson finds himself teaching at Glenn Acres Preparatory School, a private academy in North Virginia.  After two years of teaching English, he finally thinks he has found his calling… until he becomes deeply involved with three students.  Ben wants to help George, an abused boy who is picked on by his peers; he attempts to aid Susanne, a mute girl, in finding her voice; and he strives to guide the Leslie, the attractive eighteen year-old, to graduation.  By taking on his students’ personal problems, Ben develops inappropriate teacher-students relationships.  While set in a school-setting, Robert Bausch’s In the Fall They Come Back is not about school, education, nor teaching; it’s about adulthood and the limits and complexities of human relationships.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Miss Jean Brodie is undoubtedly in the prime of her life.  As a teacher at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, Miss Jean Brodie employs some unorthodox teaching methods as well as engaging in some risky behaviors.  For example, Miss Jean Brodie is having an affair with Gordon Lowther, the music teacher, all the meanwhile being attracted to Teddy Lloyd, the married art teacher.  In regards to her teaching position, Miss Jean Brodie has her select group of students – Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy – with whom she instills the importance of independence, passion, and ambition above traditional academic subjects.  To say the least, Miss Jean Brodie is complicated and flawed character, and things get even more problematic when Miss Jean Brodie is betrayed…

This book is one of our AM Book Club picks!  Mark your calendar to join our discussion on February 21st, 2019 at 11:00 AM.

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