Monday, October 09, 2006

Sahara Special, by Esme Raji Codell

When Sahara was little, they caught her at school writing letters to her absent father. Taking the letters away and putting them in her file, they labeled her a "special needs" child. From the experience, Sahara learned to never write a word in school again. Now a new teacher comes to school with an ability to reach Sahara, trouble-maker Darrell, and kids like them. Can this teacher succeed in helping Sahara display her specialness?

Autobiographical in nature and largely based on the pedagogical techniques that Codell outlined in her first book Educating Esme, this is a nice story about an unusual teacher and a student struggling to learn how to trust others and herself.

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