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Publisher's Summary

Esmé Raji Codell has come to teach, and she's not going to let incompetent administrators, abusive parents, gang members, or her own insecurities get in the way. As she puts it, she has "Thirty-one children. Thirty-one chances. Thirty-one futures, our futures. Everything they become, I also become." Codell's portrait of an inner-city elementary school is funny, poignant, and inspiring. Her struggle to maintain individuality in the face of bureaucracy and her defiant stand against mediocrity will reverberate in companies as well as classrooms everywhere.
Original Material ©1999 Esmé Raji Codell; © and (P)1999 HighBridge Company
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Critic Reviews



Alex Award Winner, 2000
"I was hooked by this fearless, feisty young teacher who managed to cut through all the pedagogic red tape." (Bel Kaufman, author of Up the Down Staircase)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By S. Connolly on 08-05-03

Excellent inspiration for educators....

I first read this book when I was considering becoming a teacher. It inspired me then, and I revisit it often to reinspire myself. This is one of those great books that makes you laugh and cry at what she had to go through as a rookie teacher, and I would highly recommend it to anyone as a great, light read.

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By Amazon Customer on 01-07-17

Laughing, crying and nodding my head

This is my 12th year teaching and I finally FINALLY read/listened to this book. It is absolutely perfect. I work for the Chicago Public Schools and I have seen and dealt with things I never imagined I would deal with as a teacher. This is the fuel I needed to let me know I am not alone. I am not crazy. I am not the only one who feels the way I feel. Thank you thank you thank you Esme for writing this book!!!!

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