We all have a lot to learn from the diary of a teacher named Esmé Raji Codell, an educator who has struggled to maintain individuality in the face of bureaucracy and whose defiant stand against mediocrity will reverberate in companies as well as classrooms everywhere.
"Excellent inspiration for educators...."
Esme tells us about the night she and her mother became "egg vigilantes" against an illegally parked car; her freewheeling first school, where kids sat on sofas instead of at desks and could choose disco dancing instead of math; her dangerous neighborhood, which her father made seem friendly and wondrous; the Passover dinner when she stole a matzoh right out from under a rabbi; the awe-inspiring, life-threatening Chicago snowstorms; and lessons about love from tea-reading gypsies and Popeye cartoons.
There are two files on Sahara Jones. The one the school counselor keeps is evidence that she is a fifth grader who needs special education. The other is the book Sahara is secretly writing, her Heart-Wrenching Life Story and Amazing Adventures.
Hunky Dory's mother always told her, "You'll be the wickedest witch wherever the four winds blow." And why not? She's at the top of her class in charm school. She can make flowers wilt like wet spaghetti. And she can turn any prince into a frog...but she always changes him back. That's when she knows she has a problem.
In this companion to Saraha Special, a fifth-grader reveals what she has learned about life during a period in which she took piano lessons from a Holocaust survivor.