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Read or Die

A Story of Survival, Hope, and How a Life Was Saved One Book at a Time
Narrated by: E.L. Beckett
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"I look forward to the day I see yellow caution tape stretched around my students' neighborhoods, the chalk outline of apathy on the ground, crushed by the weight of a thousand books. Until then I treat each day as if books are EpiPens and every student has a shellfish allergy with a mouth full of shrimp."

Most of the students in Daphne Russell's reading class have never read an entire book, and they can't relate to Harry Potter and his magic wand. Abel is 28 days behind everyone else, and he needs enough books inside him to get his lungs to work again, mend his shattered heart, and kick the shit out of apathy.

In her memoir Read or Die, Russell documents her daily battle as a middle school teacher in Tucson, Arizona, fighting against predetermined trajectories of less-than beliefs with an arsenal of hard covers and tattered pages.

A talented and caring teacher, Russell offers a moving portrayal that combines rich autobiographical details with firsthand insight into the world of education. Read or Die is not only a compelling story, but it also offers revealing and meaningful insights into education in America from a seasoned insider.

©2018 Daphne Russell (P)2018 Daphne Russell

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Teacher is awesome, story lost my interest...

Read or Die by Daphne Russell sounded like a book that I was going to devour when I read the description and I honestly hate to say that I didn't. The first hour or so I was avidly listening and really enjoying the story. Then at some point I realized that I was bored. The story almost seemed to be repeating itself. To me, it was much of the same stuff over and over again. Though I am by no means trying to take away from Ms. Russell's achievements dedication to her students. I love her approach to reaching these at-risk kids. I just wasn't hooked by the telling of the story.

E.L. Beckett did a great job narrating this story and I feel that she was a pretty perfect fit. She narrated matter-of-factly and she had a good reading voice for the author. Her reading wasn't flat at all and she did a good job with adding in the perfect amount of emotion, etc. I'd be happy to listen to more of her performances down the road. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J.K.R.
  • NEW YORK, NY, US
  • 08-15-18

Worth all five stars...

Read or Die, when I saw the title I thought this is exactly how I feel when I haven't read for more than two days. After reading the summary I found out it was about a teacher helping her students’ one book at time. Yet, while listening to this audiobook I found it was much more than that just a teacher and her ability to teach. Some reviews are saying it's great because you get a teacher's point of view, but that's not point. The point is this particular teacher's point of view. Not all teachers have the ability or care to see their students the way she did. She didn't see herself as some saviour. Just someone who would if she could change a student's trajectory... and she did it with books.
I found her story wonderful, human and a bit heart breaking. After hearing the audiobook (which I received a free copy) a few day ago, I brought a print copy to give to a friend. While on the train I started reading the book. When I was done I smiled and said, "Miss it was good".

I was given this free copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful, Insightful and Real...

Thank you, Daphne. I wish there were more like you. Very powerful, insightful look in today's education system and challenges. If more people cared and were willing to get involved, the better our world would become. People like Daphne have inspired me and will continue to inspire me to care and to do more.

Today's kids are tomorrow's leaders. There is still goodness in the world. Let's share it, teach it, live it :)
Great book, great narration :) Loved it!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

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I don't teach but I can relate

Having gone to school with Miss Russell I can relate to what she is trying to share with the world. I work in the behavior health field with kids so I can relate in this aspect also.
Well done I loved listening to the book.


P. Phipps-Surber

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  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 08-13-18

Excellent!

This is not a book about teaching students to decode words and assemble them into something meaningful, it is about using books to teach students to decode themselves and see something good. It's about trying her best to teach each one how to want to become the best self.
She causes the reader of her book to see each of a number of students (and teachers) as real, valuable, and challenging. Get clues from the publisher's blurb, then read the book.
E L Beckett gives an excellent audio interpretation!
I requested and received a free audio copy via AudioBookBOOM.

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Read or Die!!!

Read or Die: A Story of Survival, Hope, and How a Life Was Saved One Book at a Time
: Daphne Russell

Daphne Russell spent 28 years in the classroom, teaching reading to high risk middle school students. Some of her methods may have been unconventional, but they worked. She knew if the kids couldn't make connections with the book, they wouldn't read it. This book takes the listener into her classroom in her final year of teaching. I found this an inspiring book.



The narration was well done. The characters were well portrayed by E.L. Beckett.



I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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a delighfull, engaging read.

Making a difference one child at a time. The narrator did an outstanding job living inside the character's head at a pace that demanded our full attention.