Back to School

The art, science, and struggle of teaching and learning.

 


 

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

By Muriel Spark

 

At of heart this deceptively slim novel is the larger-than-life figure of Miss Brodie, a teacher the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh just before the outbreak of World War Two. Readers, much like her pupils, are sure to fall under her spell. But is she a dangerous fantasist or merely living her life vicariously through the girls she teaches?

 


 

Work Hard. Be Nice.

By Jay Mathews

 

The inspiring, important, and compelling story of how two young educators turned their personal failures in the Teach for America program into a new classroom paradigm, creating the acclaimed Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today includes 66 schools in 19 states.

 

 


 

The Death and Life of the Great American School System

By Diane Ravitch

 

A passionate plea to overhaul public education and a scathing indictment of today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, such as privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and charter schools. Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, insists that decisions about schools should be left in the hands of teachers, rather than bureaucrats and politicians.

 


 

Educating Esmé

By Esmé Raji Codell

 

Affectionate, unconventional, imaginative, fearless, Esmé was only 24 years old when she got her first job teaching fifth grade in an inner city school. Determined that her kids were going to learn, she let nothing -- not dim-witted principals, abusive parents, gang members, or her own insecurities -- stop her.

 


 

Cross-X

By Joe Miller

 

This extraordinary account of Kansas City Central High School's debate team is perfectly summed up by its subtitle: "The Amazing True Story of How the Most Unlikely Team from the Most Unlikely of Places Overcame Staggering Obstacles at Home and at School to Challenge the Debate Community on Race, Power, and Education."

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.