My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Microcosm Publishing
Source: review copy via the publisher
This is the author's memoir of her first year of teaching English at an inner-city second chance charter high school in 1997. I'm a big proponent of all alternate schooling methods so, of course, found the topic very interesting. It's a good story and well-told. I really liked how the author brought in big subjects such as teen pregnancy, disabilities, gang members, a student on parole but never made an issue out of any of them. These were simply facts of the student's lives that the teachers/school worked with, not around, to make sure the students got an education. (I'm so sick of reading teen books which seem to be first and foremost about an ISSUE with a story woven around it.) A good job on the writing though I found about 2/3s of the way through my interest waning. The author makes clear early on some will graduate, but not all and I was getting tired with not much happening in the plot but repetition. The art is raw, hand drawn and lettered with a strange choice of changing the black and white drawings to ... maroon. This simply made the book hard on the eyes and hard to read, lowering the professionalism of the overall look. Good story, but could have been better with an edit and better final presentation.