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Angel Park: A Novel Paperback – April 20, 2009
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
About the Author
Patricia Kokinos is a teacher, school leader, change agent, curriculum expert, writer, and speaker who spent twenty-five years making change in the public schools. She was a Regent's Scholar at UCLA and holds two master's degrees in English and educational administration. She and her husband live in Southern California. Visit her website at www.ChangeTheSchools.com.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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My son-in-law is a former classroom teacher and now a Vice Principal at a grammar school. From what I know of what he and his co-workers experience daily, I found this book not really too far fetched at all. The delusional bureaucracies that run school districts across our country seem to border on the insane at times and certainly are as political as they can get.
Kokinos is a good writer and she pulls the reader fully into the classrooms and the lives of those she exposes in the story. The book is edgy and is told in an entertaining style that will make it a pleasure to read. This is certainly not your typical book about teachers and the schools and that is good! The book has an emotional impact and gives you a reality check, in what is perhaps,only a slightly exaggerated storyline on what may be happening at our local schools.
I think everyone who has gone through the American education system will recognize some truths buried in these pages; however, teachers will find a chilling indictment of what they may have felt, experienced or had nightmares about! This book is a must read! A very worthy effort from the teacher turned author! This book comes with my personal endorsement along with the highest book rating of FIVER STARS from The American Authors Association (AAA).
As kids, we were all there once--well, way more than once. September to June are in our blood and bones--and the memories can fill our dreams and flood our nightmares.
But there were things we didn't know when we were young--that our teachers were/are human beings, downtown politics shaped what Dick and Jane saw and if we saw Dick and Jane....
But Patrica Kokinos knows this well, though, and tells it intelligently, thoughtfully, beautifully--with anger, edge, and, surprisingly, with hope.
Politics, personal agendas, race, class--all carried by real, live, breathing, laughing, crying, hurting humans.... Wow.
Connie Demetrios has done the divorce, move back to your hometown thing. She's an educator and has gotten a position in the curriculum department for the school district. She has bought a lovely home that has become a refuge, she's dealing with her parents (who own a Greek restaurant)--time to do good work, to recover--to heal.
The principal is carried out on a stretcher--he had a heart attack--the first day.
The new principal is the chosen one of the vehement board member Who Knows Everything. He institutes policies that he says are to help the poor, black students--but segregate out the rich white kids, over crowd the other classes....
What Connie soon realizes is that Cornwall is like every other place she's been. The "students" are what it's all about in theory. Reality is that education has become an industry, the teachers, the staff, work the assembly line and the students are processed through.
The people who want to do well, who care--struggle against a system that doesn't care about the individual student. And they get tired.
And meanwhile, the are human. Have lives. Dreams that are outside of school--
When teachers and staff fight back, tragedy begins. The smug, self-satisfied, morally blind and delusional...win.
Kokinos has a message but it comes through real, breathing characters. Often people who have soething to say, say it with cardboard.
Kokinos tells her story, with flesh, blood, and bone. Moments will make you laugh, some will make you angry, and others--prepare for tears.
An excellent book with a twist that leaves you...well, buy it and read it.