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Elaine's Circle: A Teacher, a Student, a Classroom and One Unforgettable Year Paperback – July 10, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While working on a "book of uplifting (and true) stories about teachers," Katz (The New Public School Parent) found Elaine Moore, the fourth-grade teacher of Seamus Farrell, a student who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in December [1992]. Based on interviews with Seamus's now college-age classmates, his family and neighbors, and Moore's co-workers in Eagle River, Alaska (just outside of Anchorage), Katz recreates the [1992–1993] school year in this account of an innovative and compassionate teacher's answer to the question "if Seamus was no longer strong enough to come to Ravenwood [School], why not have the class come to him?" In keeping with her belief that "children can handle the truth, even hard truths; what they can't handle is not knowing," Moore informs and guides her students as they find a way to keep Seamus a member of their class. In small groups, they form mutually beneficial peer tutor meetings at Seamus's home during lunch hour. Sadly, Seamus died the following September—although he outlived the six-week prognosis by almost a year. Katz's book is about handling illness and death, and about teaching; Seamus's spunk, his teacher's perseverance and his parents' dedication are quite moving.
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Review

"A book that gets to the heart and soul of teaching, of learning, by telling an unforgettable story ." -- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"A lesson about what children are capable of understanding when treated with honesty and respect." -- Marc Brown, author and executive producer of Arthur, the best-selling children's book and television series

"Whenever a book leads me to laughter and tears . . . it speaks the truth about life and has touched my heart." -- Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (July 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569243840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569243848
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Novak on November 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
The story is so well writen, before you know it the book is done and your life is changed forever. Elaine's Circle tells the story of a phenomenal teacher who handled the terminal illness of a student with grace, honesty and true insight into how a childs mind works. Kudo's to all involved!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dodothy M. Nicholls on August 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
one of the most endearing stories ever. A MUST on the reading list of compassionate people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Adams on December 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. Yes, it was sad, but it was so well-written and compassionate that the underlying story was not about death, but life, and how his illness affected a community, and how one person can become an everyday hero and role model. As one reviewer said: "The story is so well written, before you know it the book is done and your life is changed forever." I totally agree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marnie Scholl-Moore on September 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was an excellent book. It was well written, and a fabulous story. We should all take a lesson from how the children rallied around their friend and classmate! This book greatly emphasizes the power of friendship!
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By Ellen on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elaine's Circle is the true story of a teacher's experience during a year when one of her fourth graders became terminally ill with cancer. She was able to help him to stay in close connection with classmates and school work even though he was confined to his home for much of the year, and all of her students had the chance to visit him and to help him to learn the 4th grade work. This book is inspirational on many different levels, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who loves children and works with children.
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