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To Sir with Love
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:$21.39+ $3.99 shipping


on January 26, 2017
This is the diary of a Black man after World War II. College educated, from a well-mannered, professional family, Ricardo Braithwaite is from British Guiana. He is in London after serving in the RAF and can't find a job. No one wants to hire a Black engineer. So he takes a job at a rough East End school. At first the students and parents treat him with open racially motivated disdain, but he doesn't take the bait. Instead he behaves with dignity and, to their surprise, treats those who are cruel with the dignity and respect they have never experienced. He is an anomaly to them...a well-spoken Black man who behaves like an absolute gentleman in all situations. He addresses the female students as "Miss". He discusses the real life challenges that these students will face when the graduate. He is unlike any teacher they have ever known.
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on December 31, 2014
To Sir, With Love is a book that members of mixed race communities should be required to read. Here's a story close to 80 years old that is still as poignant today as it was then.

We pride ourselves for feeling and thinking we're liberal and we all want to change the world. But when push comes to shove, we all revert back to what is comfortable. "Sir", Rick Braithwaite, is a young black teacher in 1940s East End London school. Mr. Braithwaite had spend time in the Air Force which lent to his worldliness. Eventually the students warm to Mr. Braithwaite to the point where he is given his proper due, he is called "Sir". Sir is a sign of respect, in Rick's case, hard earned, but earned nonetheless.

As a sidebar, Rick begins dating Gillian, a white teacher at the school. Gillian and Rick feel the race thing to be a non-issue. However, 1940s London says otherwise and because of it Gillian begins to suffer.

Most people of age have at least seen the movie with Sidney Portier in the lead. By all right, Mr. Portier did a wonderful job conveying the problem. This is a book not only to be read for enjoyment but for learning. We still have a long, LONG way to go.

CJ
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on February 4, 2017
I first read this book in high school and the teacher reminds me of a teacher I had in Jr. high school that influenced me to finish high school. Before that I was going to quit school as soon as I was 16. I was 21 when I finished ,but I did! You can why I liked the book.
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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2014
"To Sir, with Love" is so well known that it's hardly necessary to review the plot in depth. Sidney Poitier's role in the movie version of the book has done that for us. Suffice to say that the story hasn't lost its relevance over the years.

E.R. Braithwaite, Oxford educated, and distinguished in public service for his native British Guayana, has also, like his self-portrayed hero, obviously felt the sting of racism. In this fictionalized version of his experiences as a school teacher in a tough area of London, Braithwaite does not deny the pain of prejudice routinely encountered by people of color. He simply paints for us a man of personal integrity who rises above the unfair circumstances inflicted by society to find love in his heart and to render service.

Besides the important theme of racial justice, "To Sir, with Love" is a great book to read for enjoyment. I highly recommend it.
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on August 24, 2016
I loved the movie with Sidney Poitier and I was curious how the book would read. I needn't have worried--the movie followed the book faithfully. Rick Braithwaite, a young black man, comes to England after the war with high hopes of using his military training to procure a good job. No one will hire him because of his color. A stranger suggests he try teaching, so he does. The way he turns a group of rowdy lower class students into well-behaved young men and women is as heartwarming as it can be, and I really enjoyed reading it.
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on August 23, 2015
As a teenager in the 60's the movie was one of my favorites. As a teacher in later years, I tried to follow the example set by Mr. Braithwaite. Students need to be exposed to experiences and people out of their normal routines. In today's world of performance testing, budget cuts and legal issues, these types of opportunities are few and far between. Mr. Braithwaite's classroom is still my ideal.
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on September 8, 2016
I saw this for $1.99 on Amazon and decided to read it. I was curious because I knew there was a movie about this book back in the 60's and a popular song of the same name by Petula Clark. It was worth the money. I didn't realize it was an autobiography until I started reading it.
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on January 13, 2018
This is a well written and thorough account of a black former RAF serviceman's experience with teaching at one of the roughest schools in London at the time. You fall in love with the children as well as the author and the other persons in the story.

A truly beautiful story of what respect between people can bring about!
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on February 28, 2015
Wow, such a great book! Can see why it was made into a classic movie (which I plan on seeing soon). It's a wonderful story about racial struggle, and how even when confronted with social norms, people shock with compassion on both sides of the racial divide. Well written and a true page turner. Love that it's based on a true story. While dated ( written about post WWII England) it still holds up today. Maybe more so as Americans struggle with "not being prejudiced" until it's at your front door. Think anyone who enjoys reading historical/autobiographical/sociological books, this is must read! I promise it's not dry at all! A true must read!
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on August 4, 2014
This is a classic, and one of the books that I have read after seeing the film. Since the work is a memoir, I wanted to see the elements presented without creative license taken for entertainment purposes. The author is a very interesting individual, and the work is an example of how one episode in one's life can be a window to the author's personality and character, as well others around him. After reading the book, I watched the film again for better clarity and understanding.
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