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 . 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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"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