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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Waiting for the Light to Change Paperback – May 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Annette Haws has hit a homerun. Ms. Haws clearly understands the vast issues facing teachers as they deal with their own personal lives and the lives of their students. Parents of students will gain a greater insight into the dynamics of adolescent students, their peers, and their teachers in this novel of teenage traumas and adult dilemmas. --Steven E. Dunn, Ed D., Dean, School of Education, Newman University<br /><br />As I read about the faculty lounge, I could smell the some times invigorating and other times stultifying atmosphere that lived there. I came to really know Sarah, Meg, Tom, Tyler, Brax, Mr. Cottle, the Assistant Principal, and many others, because I already knew them. I see them every day. I believe that if the reader really wants to know what goes on within a high school community and come to treasure the devotion and dedication wonderful teachers give to their students, no matter how misguided the teachers' efforts and attempts at times might be, the book is worth reading. However, this is not a novel just about a high school, but about the pit and pratfalls a marvelous teacher encounters and experiences while living in a small community. --Stuart Howell, Vice Principal, Logan High School<br /><br />This funny, realistic glimpse into an American high school captures the reader from the first pages. I kept picking it up to read "just a few more pages" realizing later that an hour had lapsed. But it's more than an engrossing plot, it's a story of a family struggling to heal, a story with a message that will touch everyone. --Stacey Bess, Author of Nobody Don't Love Nobody, soon to be made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie

I wouldn't call Sarah Williams an anti-hero, but she comes close in Waiting for the Light to Change by Annette Haws. She's not a likable person, though she is a character most of us will be able to identify with, especially on those occasions when we over-react or act before we think. And she's certainly not a Molly Mormon though she is a member of the Church and active. She's had a hard life. She had the misfortune of marrying a charming, handsome doctor who deserted her and their three small children twelve years before the story begins. With no money or way of caring for her children and supporting them at the same time, she left Ohio to return to her mother in Utah where she could teach high school debate while her mother took care of her children. Unfortunately her mother is neither a caring nor honest person. The boys are okay; they spend most of their day at school, but little Jenny becomes an insecure, social misfit. The mother, without Sarah's knowledge, intercepts letters and money from Sarah's errant husband and prevents him from seeing the children. The boys grow up hating their father and Jenny is just lost. Sarah faces a challenging year when Jenny starts high school with no friends, her oldest son on whom she's quite emotionally dependent is in another country serving a mission, she and her close friend and fellow teacher face an arrogant, cruel senior who disrupts her classes and debate meets, her ex-husband and his air-head wife move to their small town, the local sheriff takes a romantic interest in her, and Jenny decides she wants to live with her father and date the town bad boy. There is a lot of raw anger and unresolved issues at play in this story. There are serious consequences for wrong choices that may have seemed justified at the time. This book is one where the reader can become emotionally involved without feeling emotions are being manipulated. The author's first hand knowledge of high school teaching, students, and activities comes through to lend the story a realistic background. Some readers may feel this book is a little too edgy, but I found it realistic and honest without ever straying into vulgarity. Both the editing and copy editing are well-done, though there are a few places dialogue needs a tag line or two to keep it clear who is speaking. The cover is boring, but that's the only thing boring about this book. High School students may enjoy this book though it is primarily an adult book. Steven E. Dunn, ED. D., Dean of the School of Education at Newman University summed up this book and I completely agree with him. Annette Haws has hit a homerun. Ms. Haws clearly understands the vast issues facing teachers as they deal with their own personal lives and the lives of their students. Parents of students will gain a greater insight into the dynamics of adolescent students, their peers, and their teachers in this novel of teenage traumas and adult dilemmas. --Jennie Hansen

As I read about the faculty lounge, I could smell the some times invigorating and other times stultifying atmosphere that lived there. I came to really know Sarah, Meg, Tom, Tyler, Brax, Mr. Cottle, the Assistant Principal, and many others, because I already knew them. I see them every day. I believe that if the reader really wants to know what goes on within a high school community and come to treasure the devotion and dedication wonderful teachers give to their students, no matter how misguided the teachers' efforts and attempts at times might be, the book is worth reading. However, this is not a novel just about a high school, but about the pit and pratfalls a marvelous teacher encounters and experiences while living in a small community. --Stuart Howell, Vice Principal, Logan High School

About the Author

Annette Haws was raised in a small college town in northern Utah. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in English Education. She has done graduate work at the University of Iowa and the University of Utah. A schoolteacher for many years, Annette has set aside denim jumpers and sturdy shoes to pursue her interest in writing fiction. Currently residing in Holladay, Utah, Annette and her husband are the parents of four above-average children and have one spectacular little grandson. If your book group plans to read Waiting for the Light to Change, Ms. Haws would be delighted to phone in and join your gathering via speaker phone. She can be contacted at Annette_Haws@yahoo.com. Discussion questions for Waiting for the Light to Change are also available on her website.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort Inc. (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159955156X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599551562
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,490,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cynthia Badger on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a book of genuine emotion--much of it taking place in a high school setting which we can all relate to in some way. It insightfully explores friendships and relationships between teachers, students, parents and staff. It also delves into the complexities of the modern family, with ex's, steps, and grands. The dialog is clever and entertaining and the action moves foreward briskly. The protagonist, Sarah, may not always be perfect, but she is always real. I can't wait for another book by this talented author.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a real page-turner! Sarah is not your typical candy-coated heroine, but a real breathing person. A feisty high school debate teacher, Sarah struggles to find her best self as a single, working mom raising three teenagers in the midst of her ex-husband returning home. Her wry sense of humor and sharp insight keep the reader involved and invested in her story.
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A compelling story with "real" emotions packed throughout. I found myself feeling the raw hurt that comes with high school and trying to fit in. Also, through Sarah, I recognized that those feelings really don't end when we grow up, the situations just change. After the book was over I just kept thinking about the characters and wondering how they are doing.
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Annette Haws first book is a great read. I always wondered what was going to happen next after I set it down. Her themes of self discovery, family and teacher student relationships and perservance relate to real life. I can relate to the main character's desire to "escape to Nova Scotia" when life gets tough. I enjoyed reading this book
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Annette Haws' novel "Waiting for the Light to Change." It is a story about Sarah, a high school debate teacher, who has had some difficult challenges in her own life, and is still having challenges as a single mom trying to coach the debate team as well as raise a family by herself. She is especially concerned about her shy teenage daughter, Jenny, and is thrown a curve by the return of an ex-husband after a long absence. The challenges multiply as she is forced to deal with a couple of senior boys on the debate team who are determined to make life miserable for Sarah and dominate the team. As Sarah tries to cope, you experience her anger, revenge and frustration, but also joy and forgiveness. Annette Haws has a wonderful witty way of helping the reader relate to teenagers, and I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of the high school scene and small town America. You also gain a deep appreciation for wonderful dedicated teachers.

After I began reading "Waiting for the Light to Change" I was enjoying it so much, I actually took it to my office to read during lunch or break time.
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Format: Paperback
Sarah Williams' story shows the hard work we all face to get past the rage of abandonment and moving toward forgiving so that we can be free to enjoy the next part of our life. I found myself cheering for Sarah's inner strength when it surfaced, and then, when it faded and she behaved like a child, I wanted to slap her. But that's the process, isn't it? Two steps forward, one step back. She cannot let go of the past: it's her red stop light. My husband said, "I have never heard you shout at a book before." Read it. You will too.
I gained a new respect for what high school teachers put up with. I highly recommend this book, because you can discover what it took to get Sarah to her green light. If ever you've felt abandoned, this is the book for you. Maybe you'll find your red light changing, too. This is a wonderful story and an amazing first novel.
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Format: Paperback
This hard-to-put-down first book by emerging author Annette Haws breaks down the barrier between "Mormon fiction" that only Mormons can understand, and fiction that only guesses at what Mormon life is like from the outside. Haws has created a peek into the thoughts and feelings of (not always so perfect) Mormons that anyone, in or out of the LDS church, can enjoy. It also immerses the reader into the micro-world of high school, debate teams, and life in a small Utah town. A great beginning. I hope there are many more books to come, as Haws has much to say.
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I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read a book cover to cover in a long time. This book kept me coming back and I read the entire thing in a few days...the characters are flawed, particularly the protagonist, and sometimes I couldn't believe her choices! But shades of grey color the entire book, and I really understood where everyone was coming from. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is familiar with the school system, any former debater, anyone from a small town, any Mormon or "Jack-Mormon", and anyone who wants to get lost in a great story.
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