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Author: Sylvia Ashton-Warner
ISBN: 1840

0 stars, based on 0 rating
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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miss-info avatar reviewed Teacher on + 386 more book reviews
Having been to New Zealand and read other books by native authors, I found the book culturally interesting. However, I found the choppy style and lack of plot or explanations off-putting. This is not a story or even a cohesive accounting of a year at her school. There is a forward, then an preface, then an introduction, then a letter to the editor, and finally, on page 27, we get to the actual book. I think the author threw thoughts onto a page whenever they happened to come to mind, and never went back to edit them. I was more than halfway through the book before I discovered that the K she kept referring to was her husband and the schoolmaster. Other adults are named without any reference to their identity; Tom gave a kid a hiding for using a forbidden word in school. Who is Tom? Another teacher, and if so, what was he doing in her classroom? There are many references to the girls getting their pockets finished. They're not making clothes. What are pockets, that they need finishing?

Her teaching method, which makes absolute sense to me and got very good results for her, could have been clearly explained in ten pages or less. I suppose that's what bothered me most about the book: too much saying too little, chaotic plot (if it could called a plot), and not knowing who people were or what was going on.