Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This book gets it right!
on August 4, 2009
This is an eye-opening recounting of the college hunt of a diverse group of seniors at Oyster Bay High School, and how the dreams of the kids meet the reality of the admissions process. The key is the incredible work and talent of their counselor, Gwyeth Smith, Jr., a real joy to watch in action. Mr. Marcus gives the type of moving, accurate portrayal that can only come from "living with" the participants and feeling what they felt. Their stories are told so well that you cannot help but root for the kids as the decisions come in.
Apart from a wonderful, realistic story, the book really gets it right when it focuses on what should be the message of parents and counselors everywhere. The real accomplishment in getting into college comes from finding the right fit for the student. It's not just about prestige or academic reputation or exclusivity. It takes someone who cares, someone who takes time to know the students in ways that test scores and class rank cannot. Where will they thrive as young adults beginning their journey?
Parents, read this book! If you aren't getting this kind of approach from your counselor, speak up. Students, read this book! It's not about the "best" school you can get into or where your friends are going, it's about learning what matters to you. May you find a counselor as interested in your life as Mr. Smith is with his students. It matters, but what matters most is what you put into this stage of your life.