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Up the Down Staircase
Up the Down Staircase
Author: Bel Kaufman
Bel Kaufman's Up the Down Staircase is one of the best-loved novels of our time. It has been translated into sixteen languages, made into a prize-winning motion picture, and staged as a play at high schools all over the United States; its very title has become part of the American idiom. — Never before has a novel so compellingly laid bare the in...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060973612
ISBN-10: 0060973617
Publication Date: 7/3/1991
Pages: 368
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 27 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Written in 1964, but still relevant today. Some of the specifics have changed, but the general tone is the same. The ending is certainly uplifting if a bit cliché. Overall, a must read for any teacher!
hoopridge avatar reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
When I started teaching, it was in an inner-city school much like the one Sylvia starts in. The kids were like hers: troubled, unruly, hopelessly starved for attention. Like Sylvia, I almost gave up as I struggled for supplies, books, time to plan, and parents' participation in their students' lives.

This book makes me sad in a way, since I can too closely relate to Sylvia, who finds out about a student's death via inner-school memo, begs the principal to get the custodian to close the windows in her classroom in the winter, and spends much too much of her own money on her classroom needs. BUT, I'm also hopeful as I read this, since Sylvia decides to stick it out in her difficult situation and learns how to be a better teacher through all the struggles.

The book is told through memos, letters, and a few snatches of conversation, making it an interesting read. I recommend this to beginning teachers, seasoned vets, and anyone who wants to know how it really is in the classroom. Though it was written in the 1960s, not much has changed.
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reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 80 more book reviews
I think I've re-read this book too many times. Yes, it's funny, and yes, the ending is perfect, but I got bogged down in the middle. I'd be curious to see how they filmed a book that consists entirely of letters, memos, and snippets of conversation.
ajpc avatar reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 22 more book reviews
For those of you who want to write inspiring stories about teachers.
reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 40 more book reviews
Cute book... very positive and reaffirming.
reviewed Up the Down Staircase on + 31 more book reviews
AWESOME book a BLAST from the past!