A Book That Made Me Laugh, Sit At the Edge of My Chair & Sometimes Even Brought Tears To My Eyes.
I must admit that before this book I hadn't heard of Gordon Korman. After I finished reading this book, I wanted more, but the story was over. However, it left me feeling happy, filled with the desire to scream out into the world, willing to tell anyone who would listen to me, about this book. Simply put, this is a book about a class that has academic train wreaks. Their teacher is someone who does not want to teach. Put together, will they be able to survive? Want to know more, head to the blurb.
Why every child must read this book?
The board exam results being announced recently in India, had many of my students talking about the highest percentages scored by their seniors in school. The discussion eventually moved on to how well some of them have been scoring. Some remained silent during this discussion, either because they were too modest or their story was entirely different. Either way, I felt a little uncomfortable and I realised that the reason was this book. It made me think again.
Education systems as well as society in general puts onus on performance as a means of survival now and in the future. Sadly, those who don't perform are left behind. They don't know why they are unable to perform. Often, no one helps them recognise the problem and rectify it with kindness. The moment they get left behind, they tend to remain behind. But that needn't be the case. This book shows how the brightest in class can help inspire and motivate these children to find the best in themselves. To clarify, this DOES NOT involve the brightest teaching these kids who are behind, but something even better. It involves the brightest lending a supporting hand, encouraging those whose confidence is in the dumps, by saying a kind word, showing them empathy in many ways. The book also shows how children can support one another in their growing journeys instead of being condescending towards one another. It is nice to be asked for help, it is even nicer to be of help. There is more joy in being of use to someone than simply excelling and being known for it.
This book shows how the brightest in class can help inspire and motivate these children to find the best in themselves. To clarify, this DOES NOT involve the brightest teaching these kids who are behind, but something even better. It involves the brightest lending a supporting hand, encouraging those whose confidence is in the dumps, by saying a kind word, showing them empathy in many ways.
Why teachers must read this book?
Apart from the obvious, instances that are easy to relate to, this book gives a peep into seven children's minds. They have been banished to a room and declared "Unteachables". Sadly, not one of them were understood and given the help that they needed. They were made to believe that they were bad and had no room for improvement. They were used to being lost and helpless, but sometimes it hurt when no help was forthcoming.
Being a teacher is no easy road to take. It can be deeply frustrating at times. It is highly possible to feel utterly useless just as children feel at times. But every teacher who has been committed to doing their best, knows that unconditional love and support comes back multifold in the most unexpected ways. This book is a testimony to that.
Disclaimer: I wasn't paid to write this blog. This was a book recommended by the very dedicated librarian, Neha Jain from Kahaani Box. It left me feeling happy and this is me wanting to share the same happiness with as many readers as possible.
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