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MCLS Booklists

Back to School - September 2010

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Schooled (Private Schools)
By: Anisha Lakhani 

Book Description: Struggling to make ends meet as a poorly paid Manhattan private school teacher, Anna joins an underground circle of nighttime tutors for privileged students and finds herself indoctrinated into her patrons' affluent lifestyles.

Book Review

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Academy X : a novel (Humorous)
By: Andrew Trees

Book Description: A parody of the culture of power and privilege at a New York City private school follows the misadventures of English teacher John Spencer, who is struggling through the final weeks of the spring semester.

Book Review: "[A] most amusing first novel . . . delicious, malicious stuff. Academy X gets all of this exactly right, and skewers all guilty parties—parents, children, teachers, administrators and, worst of all, Ivy League admissions officers—just as they deserve to be skewered . . . Smart, on-target, and very funny."The Washington Post

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Don’t Scream (Suspense)
By Wendy Corsi Staub
Also Available: Large Print

Book Description: Four Massachusetts sorority sisters make a pact following the accidental death of their sorority sister, Rachel Lorant, on her birthday. Together, they swear never to speak about what they saw that night. Ten years later, the women start receiving mysterious letters alluding to Rachel's demise. When one of the four is brutally murdered on the night of her birthday, the others begin to worry what their own encroaching birthdays hold for them. While police try to track down the murderer, our heroines hold tight to their secrets, even as they're hunted and killed one by one. By the time the past finally does come to light, it may be too late for one desperate survivor.

Book Review

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A Hole in Juan ( an Amanda Pepper mystery )
By Gillian Roberts  

Book Description: Philadelphia English teacher Amanda Pepper joins forces with her husband, C. K. Mackenzie, to investigate when a yearly tradition in which children play harmless pranks throughout the city on the night before Halloween turns deadly

Book Review
Read First Chapter

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Ms. Hempel Chronicles (Psychological Fiction, Women Teachers)
By Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Book Description: This is an intricate and absorbing collection of eight interconnected stories about Beatrice Hempel, a middle school English teacher. Ms. Hempel is the sort of teacher students adore, and despite feeling disenchanted with her job, she regards her students as intelligent, insightful and sometimes fascinating. Bynum seamlessly weaves stories of the teacher's childhood with the present—reminiscences about Beatrice's now deceased father and her relationship with her younger brother, Calvin—while simultaneously fleshing out the lives of Beatrice's impressionable students.

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Book Review

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Every Secret Thing (Christian Fiction, Preparatory School Teachers)
By Ann Tatlock
Also Available: Downloadable Audio

Book Description: Beth Gunnar has returned to her alma mater, Seaton Prep, to teach English. She is haunted by an unresolved mystery from her student days—the unexplained disappearance of a favorite teacher—but discovering what happened to Mr. Dutton is not all that absorbs Beth's attention. She reconnects with a high school flame and becomes something of a surrogate mother to a precocious, charming student named Satchel Queen.

Book Review

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The School of Essential Ingredients (Cooking Schools, fiction)
By Erica Bauermeister
Also Available: Large Print and Audio Disc

Book Description: Respected chef and restaurateur Lillian has spent much of her 30-something years in the kitchen, looking for meaning and satisfaction in evocative, delicious combinations of ingredients. Endeavoring to instill that love and know-how in others, Lillian holds a season of Monday evening cooking classes in her restaurant. The novel takes up the story of each of her students, navigating readers through the personal dramas, memories and musings stirred up as the characters handle, slice, chop, blend, smell and taste.

Book Review

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The Hour I First Believed (Domestic Fiction)
By Wally Lamb
Also Available: Large Print and Audio Disc

Book Description: When forty-seven-year-old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, Caelum returns home to Three Rivers, Connecticut, to be with his aunt who has just had a stroke. But Maureen finds herself in the school library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed, as two vengeful students go on a carefully premeditated, murderous rampage. Miraculously she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. Caelum and Maureen flee Colorado and return to an illusion of safety at the Quirk family farm in Three Rivers. But the effects of chaos are not so easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.

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Book Review

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The Suicide Club (Romantic Suspense)
By Gayle Wilson

Book Description: Lindsey Sloan teaches the best and brightest students at Randolph-Lowen High School—exceptional teens with promising futures far from their small Alabama hometown. So when brash detective Jace Nolan arrives from up north and accuses her kids of setting a series of fires in local black churches, Lindsey is furious. No matter how Jace tries to convince her, Lindsey can't believe her pupils could do something so horrible, let alone be addicted to the rush of getting away with it. But when her attraction to Jace places her in mortal danger and people begin dying, Lindsey can no longer be sure just what her students are capable of. If Jace is right, it's up to the two of them to outsmart these criminal minds—before they carry out the ultimate thrill-kill.
 
Book Review

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Travel Writing
By Peter Ferry

Book Description: Pete Ferry, our narrator, teaches high school English in the wealthy suburb of Lake Forest outside of Chicago, and moonlights as a travel writer. On his way home after work one evening he witnesses a car accident that kills a beautiful woman named Lisa Kim. But was it an accident? Could Pete have prevented it? And did it actually happen, or is this just an elaborate tale he concocts to impart the power of story to his restless teenage charges? Why can't he stop thinking about Lisa Kim? And what might his obsession with her mean to his relationship with his girlfriend, Lydia? The line between fact and fiction is often negotiable.

Book Review

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Teacher Man: A Memoir (Biography)
By Frank McCourt
Also Available: Large Print and Audio Disc

Book Description: For 30 years author, Frank McCourt, taught high school English in New York City and for much of that time he considered himself a fraud. During these years he danced a delicate jig between engaging the students, satisfying often bewildered administrators and parents, and actually enjoying his job. He tried to present a consistent image of composure and self-confidence, yet he regularly felt insecure, inadequate, and unfocused. After much trial and error, he eventually discovered what was in front of him (or rather, behind him) all along--his own experience.

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Book Review

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The Mom Book Goes to School: Insider tips to ensure your child thrives in elementary and middle school
By Stacy DeBroff

Book Description: In an era of school budget cuts, overcrowded classrooms, constant testing, and highly competitive admissions processes to private schools and colleges, parents need to be hands-on intermediaries and strategic problem solvers for their children when issues arise. To be an effective advocate for your child, you need to take a proactive and sophisticated approach in communicating with your child's teachers, specialists, and principal. You also need to be aware of how peer relationships impact your child's school performance, from bullies to cliques to problematic classroom behavior. It all boils down to a single concern: How can you make sure your child succeeds at school without becoming an overly involved parent?

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The Essential 55: An award-winning educator's rules for discovering the successful student in every child
By Ron Clark

Book Description: The winner of the 2001 Disney Teacher of the Year Award presents some revolutionary ideas for the classroom: manners, industriousness and accountability.

Book Review

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Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell
By The Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell

Book Description: Mirroring an academic year, these dispatches from the front lines of education take us from the anticipation of the first day to the disillusionment, challenges, and triumphs of the school year. These are the voices of teachers who persevere in the face of intolerance, rigid administration, and countless other challenges, and continue to reach out and teach those who are deemed unteachable. Their stories inspire everyone to make a difference in the world around them.

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