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The Class

A Life-Changing Teacher, His World-Changing Kids, and the Most Inventive Classroom in America
Narrated by: Heather Won Tesoriero
Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable year in the life of a visionary high school science teacher and his award-winning students, as they try to get into college, land a date for the prom... and possibly change the world

“A complex portrait of the ups and downs of teaching in a culture that undervalues what teaching delivers.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Andy Bramante left his successful career as a corporate scientist to teach public high school - and now helms one of the most remarkable classrooms in America. Bramante’s unconventional class at Connecticut’s prestigious yet diverse Greenwich High School has no curriculum, tests, textbooks, or lectures, and is equal parts elite research lab, student counseling office, and teenage hangout spot. United by a passion to learn, Mr. B.’s band of whiz kids set out every year to conquer the brutally competitive science fair circuit. They have won the top prize at the Google Science Fair, made discoveries that eluded scientists three times their age, and been invited to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.

A former Emmy-winning producer for CBS News, Heather Won Tesoriero embeds in this dynamic class to bring Andy and his gifted, all-too-human kids to life - including William, a prodigy so driven that he’s trying to invent diagnostics for artery blockage and Alzheimer’s (but can’t quite figure out how to order a bagel); Ethan, who essentially outgrows high school in his junior year and founds his own company to commercialize a discovery he made in the class; Sophia, a Lyme disease patient whose ambitious work is dedicated to curing her own debilitating ailment; Romano, a football player who hangs up his helmet to pursue his secret science expertise and develop a “smart” liquid bandage; and Olivia, whose invention of a fast test for Ebola brought her science fair fame and an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

We experience the thrill of discovery, the heartbreak of failed endeavors, and perhaps the ultimate high: a yes from Harvard. Moving, funny, and utterly engrossing, The Class is a superb account of hard work and high spirits, a stirring tribute to how essential science is in our schools and our lives, and a heartfelt testament to the power of a great teacher to help kids realize their unlimited potential.

Praise for The Class:

"Captivating... Journalist Tesoriero left her job at CBS News to embed herself in Bramante's classroom for the academic year, and she does this so successfully, a reader forgets she is even there. Her skill at drawing out not only Bramante but also the personal lives, hopes and concerns of these students is impressive.... It is a fascinating glimpse of a teaching environment that most public school teachers will never know." (The Washington Post)

©2018 Heather Won Tesoriero (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[An] inspiring account of how a high school science teacher mentors and motivates his prize-winning pupils.... The students’ kindnesses, worries, feuds, and projects are...sketched so lovingly that readers cannot help rooting for them. With its winning mix of human-interest and scientific innovation, this book will appeal to general readers and fans of pop science alike.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Tesoriero, a former TV news producer and newspaper reporter, captures with humor and empathy the lives and dreams of an extraordinary group of students.... Tesoriero makes a strong case for the importance of science and inspirational teachers.... Recommended for readers of Alexandra Robbins’s works, The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids and The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.” (Library Journal)

“Schools matter. The teachers inside those schools matter. The Class shows us what amazing things can happen when those two things come together.... [The Class is] more than a story of Andy Bramante and his students. It’s also a road map to improving our educational systems and the unimaginable bounties waiting if we do.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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More "Classroom Confidential" than "How To"

Heather Won Tesoriero's breathless narration of student lives, dates, disappointments, and obsessive parents reads more like a society column cum hagiography than a methodology to improve the way science is taught and experienced in high school. Sure we like all the students and notice the Andy Bramante's calm, patient, and wise teaching presence. But wouldn't we really like to know how he does it and then apply what we can to every other science class in America? We get little or no sense of coursework, syllabus, studies. I lived through high school and knew my share of outstanding teachers and brilliant students. This book contributed nothing to my understanding of how to improve the process. #HighSchoolLife #Science #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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My Review of The Class

As a parent of 2 GHS graduates, I enjoyed this book. GHS is a truly excellent school, and offers so many opportunities for all its students to develop both academically and socially. This book provided an excellent analysis of the school and its culture.