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School of Lies Paperback – September 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mickey Hoffman bio

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935171291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935171294
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,201,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mickey Hoffman was born in Chicago, and attended public schools where she acquired the strong suspicion that some of her teachers might be human. She wasn't able to prove this fanciful thinking until much later, when she became a high school teacher herself.

Before landing in the halls of academia, she worked in a variety of jobs, including computer typesetting and wholesale frozen fish sales.

The author is also a printmaker and painter. She resides on the West Coast with her long suffering mate, eight marine aquariums and a very large cat. Mickey is the author of two Kendra Desola mystery novels, School of Lies and Deadly Traffic.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Simmons on November 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
School of Lies was an engaging read for me. :-)

I have several friends who are school teachers, but being in a rural community I'd never heard such stories of school politics and nastiness. Even so, the characters were very believeable - I could easily envision the situations described. The plot carried forward well; I could not be sure of where it would go until it got there, given the many twists within it.

The story left me wanting to follow the lead character further into other adventures. When is the sequel due out?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Myles Goldfein on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
This novel is set in an urban high school where grades are not the only things going down. The main character, Kendra, is a young special education teacher who is one of four at the school. She knew things wouldn't be easy but soon finds herself facing something every teacher knows could happen, but never expect to happen to them.
I have my own memories of high school, which was a bit of a hell hole, and I've often wondered what my teachers really wanted to say when someone acted up, what they really thought about their jobs. School of Lies paints a gritty picture of how working in a crumbling, overcrowded big city school can affect a person's character, for better or for worse. The students in the book, both special education and regular education, are portrayed with heart and a sense of humor. I applaud Mickey Hoffman for daring to be politically incorrect.
The friction between the "regular" education and the special education folk creates part of the tension in the book. Students and teachers alike will take dark pleasure as the various characters try to out maneuver each other. I don't want to give away any of the complicated plot, but if you enjoy trying to stay one step ahead of the investigation, you'll love School of Lies.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay Boyer on September 10, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
First-time novelist Mickey Hoffman sets her "School of Lies" on ground more familiar to public school teachers than they are apt to admit in casual conversation, and teachers in particular are sure to enjoy this impressive novelistic debut. But you don't have to be a high school teacher to see the author knows of what she speaks; opening your eyes a couple of times
before putting on the old cap and gown is about all Mickey Hoffman requires of you--and that's not a bad way of thinking about the book itself, for this is a carefully observed work of fiction, one that rings true when it might seem to be dealing in the preposterous, and seems delightfully preposterous when it's dealing in anything else.

Second Wind is a press with a growing reputation and this latest addition to its inventory bodes well for its future. The tensions in "School of Lies:" are taut; the characters, particularly Kendra, Hoffman's much wronged protagonist, are generally right on the money. It's common knowledge that teachers are supposed to have all the answers, but set foot in Hoffman's world and you see how little it takes to dispell that long-held illusion, even to a someone reasonably seasoned in academe. That you can't trust anyone, Kendra already suspects near the novel's beginning; but that you can't trust in the truth becomes something she has to learn, and we're right with her
for that process.

This is a book worth reading for any number of reasons--how much more fun it is than doing your homework, to name but one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Gregory on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kendra Desola is a dedicated high school teacher in Special Ed. and finds that the politics in an academic setting can unnerve you. Vice Principal Zant is a thorn not only in Kendra's side, but all the Special Ed. faculty. When she opens her email one day, there is an attachment photo of four male students in a car and she is pictured in a compromising position with two of them in the back seat. Obviously an altered photo, but how can she prove it? Hoping to stop this fabrication before it spins out of control, she plans to find the culprit. But the suspicious death of a colleague prompts the police to start an investigation on campus. Kendra fears that the police will think she has a motive for murder because of the falsified photo and does not tell them.

'School of Lies' is full of lies, politics and deceitful co-workers. Hoffman delivers broad insight behind the workings of a high school and depicts each character with his/her own idiosyncracy in a clever way. I would have preferred more about the murder and less teaching details. However, 'School of Lies' is a very satisfying first novel for Hoffman. Her book certainly shows her knowledge of teaching.
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Format: Paperback
A friend who knows that I teach teachers heading to the public school classroom recommended this book and asked if it rang true to my experience. Short answer: yes.... Longer answer: we only get the tip of the iceberg at Standard High! Historians [which I am] are notorious readers of mystery stories so Mickey Hoffman has combined 2 of my interest. There is certainly enough to figure out and the author has a nice sense of human interaction at the secondary school level and no doubt that is a byproduct of her own time in the trenches. The cast of characters reaches beyond the school walls, however, to touch on personal relationships and life events of many of the characters. This makes them multidimensional and adds levels to the core idea that things are not what they appear to be on the surface.

There is an ease of dialog that adds to the credibility of the high school context but also a nice use of words that reminds the reader that this book could go on an AP reading list with words such as "scabrous" to evoke images of old holes in old bathroom walls where soap and towel dispensers once hung or "scree" to name the pebbles under foot on a hiking trip. High school and other young adult readers will be drawn to the book because they already suspect that the lives of their teachers are laced with more intrigue than most really are and will appeal to general readers who want a mystery without the mayhem.

There is, refreshingly, no physical violence, except that surrounding the 2 deaths in the story, both of which occur "off stage" as it were.
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