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on January 14, 2002
This book should be mandatory reading for all teachers and those going into the profession. After reading this book you will have a insight into the secret world of the illiterate. Before the book I imagined the illiterate as people that brought this on themselves by not caring or giving up on the educational system now I see it as it truely is a disability. This book would be great for parents to get an understanding of what children can go through in school and how hard it can be to be a child. This is an amazing story of a man who led a life of lies to protect his intermost secret. I can not say how much I enjoyed this book and how I want everyone to read it. Enjoy!
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on October 12, 2008
This book begs of us to ask ourselves some important questions: Which people in your life are struggling with reading and writing? How would you know? How would you help? Millions of Americans of every age, race, gender, and class are functionally illiterate; how is this affecting you personally? How is society suffering? Why aren't these millions of people being taught to read and write during their years of schooling? (I'll disclose a tidbit here: it is NOT because they are unable to learn to read or are `disabled'). All these questions are addressed in this must read book. It contains a raw, riveting, honest account of one brilliant man's immense suffering as a functional illiterate for 48 years as he clawed his way through school and college, taught high school, and developed his own successful business. It describes how he came to learn to read, and the amazing path his passionate quest has led him down as he has devoted his life to helping the millions who are suffering as he did. As the owner of a reading center, I see the hurt and anguish students of every age experience because they are not able to read. I also see the joy, increased self esteem, and hope they experience as they quickly learn to read and realize they aren't `broken'. Read this book; you'll be glad you did!
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on April 10, 2009
This is a very touching story of a man who didn't learn how to read until he was 48 years old and at that, it took 10 more years to become fluent at an adult level. The story is also the cry of children, in the voice of one little boy, who just cannnot get reading in the classroom setting for one reason or another, and yet, they are overlooked and passed on. In their desparation, they often use destructive methods to become somebody in the world. Unlike John Corcoran, who became very successful while hiding his secret, numerous other children live lives devoid of the possibility that could have been theirs if someone had taken responsibility to teach them the code and proved to them that education is what it says it is: the doorway to a successful future.
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on January 27, 2006
This is the story of John Corcoran who learned to read later in life. He blamed the school system and his teachers who failed him in many ways. However, does this justify the fact that he cheated his way through school and even broke into a professor's office in college? THEN he became a teacher who used his students to do his job as a teacher. I can sympathize with him when was a kid. It must have been painful. But let's be real, as an adult, he was afraid someone would discover he couldn't read and he would have lost his job as a TEACHER. He could have taken some responsibility for his education by getting into the car and employing a tutor in a neighboring town. He even used his wife in the "cover up".

What really got me about this man who made it very clear that his teachers were the reason for his illiteracy was that he became a teacher himself. Just how many students did he affect in his teaching career? If I had been a student of his, I would have felt cheated by him. He is more guilty than those who failed him. He got his job through cheating, lying, deception, and even breaking the law.

I think I would have had more sympathy for him if he had been a businessman who learned to read later in life -- but he was employed as a teacher. How many students did he help with their studies? This is not a person who should be admired, in my opinion. I would have admired him if he would have gotten a tutor or attended adult ed. classes during his college years.
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on August 14, 2013
True story with heart ache and success. A must read for reading teachers. I relate to it because my Father could not read. It is a painful place to be in a world of written word, when a person cannot read signs, directions, for pleasure, tests, etc. I was amazed at the authors ability to share his life story and where he is now. Admirable.
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on December 3, 2008
I found this story very interesting. I could relate as a child with learning problems and having been a teacher myself. It makes you stop and think about how we are teaching our kids.
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on September 9, 2013
Mr. Corcoran's success in overcoming illiteracy is to be greatly admired. However, by his own admission he is arrogant and deceitful, and it shows as his story unfolds. He seems much more interested in bragging about how he beat the system than in telling what would have been the more compelling story of the struggles a non-reader faces daily in a literate world. He repeatedly blasts his teachers for failing him, yet glosses over the fact that as an illiterate teacher he failed his students miserably. He excuses this by repeatedly touting how he was teaching them in a progressive way. Really? The tragedy of this book is that it could have been so much better. I would not recommend it.
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on June 20, 2015
Ordered this for a friend who was mentoring a middle school child in reading. It helped her understand the difficulty the child was experiencing. Delivered on time. No problems.
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on July 10, 2013
If you are a teacher at any grade level, you should read this book to help you understand your struggling readers. This man's story will amaze you. You won't want to put it down.
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on December 15, 2014
EVERY parent, teacher, guardian, person should read.
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