BOOK TOUR & BOOK REVIEW
we’re heading back to school with our first book tour featuring jack sheffield!
Overflowing with amusing anecdotesDaily Mail
Wry observation and heartwarmingAlan titchmarsh
Jack Sheffield’s in a class of his ownyork press
It’s 1969 at Heather Field View Primary School, Yorkshire. In a room full of twenty-nine other newly qualified teachers, Jack is overjoyed when he’s appointed. He is excited to start his first year there with the potential to shape young minds in a beautiful new location on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Heather View isn’t as idyllic as it first sounds. In fact, it looks more like a prison than a primary school. With less than adequate funding and a head teacher who doesn’t seem to care, it’s no easy task to give the kids the education they deserve.
As first time readers of the Jack Sheffield’s books, it was assuring to find his book genuine, humorous and entertaining stand alone novel. There were contless occasions where sheffield had us giggling (character’s like Mad Nicky). For a new teacher, he came across quite head strong, leading and domineering but showed all signs of being a potential head teacher. The more we read into the character we found him to be polite, charming and inspiring. He was willing to teach his children lessons they deserved to learn for the sake of their future but you noticed his level of empathy towards children made you trust him as a person and teacher. Throughout the novel, you grasp a fascination in his teachings. Sheffield takes you back down memory lane to classic lessons, events and anecdotes from the early 70s. There were events like the Isle of Wright Festival and Neil Armstrong’s Landing on the Moon. It was fascinating to learn a driving lesson cost “one pound and thirteen shillings” compared to thirty pounds. The modern kids ought to learn a thing or two!
The dialogue for this was very clever and realistic. It was hard to read sometimes because of the punctuation which we applause due to the time it must have taken to edit in. It captured the real essence of the Nothern accent in an authentic manner. The themes of the book covers a wide range of discussions. For instance, Penny’s boyfriend is a doctor which humorously annoys Jack. Sheffield also lives in a fortunate area compared to his students. It highlighted the contrast of wealth between characters and the hardship of areas bringing out their values (the football pitch). Secondly, it brings up the controversy on what is considered a correct education standard and what is important for teachers to teach their children. Today, there are more structures and guidelines to lessons whereas Jack might of had more flexibility back then but it nice in the way he taught them in a humble way rather than to the strict ways that are expressed in the book.
The overall book was humbling. There were some funny lines from the characters that kept it light hearted. Audrey was one of the examples. There was an article in the Daily Mail about Phillip declaring the state’s finances in American News. Audrey replied with the sweetest but naive reply that the Buckingham Palace must have a huge up-keep. We could imagine this would have irritated Jack slightly but we think he enjoyed the buzz of his new teaching family and their debate. We couldn’t help but laugh when Audrey replied this because it was exactly something we would respond with! There are no regrets in the way the book ended. There was no “fault” with the plot and it was a pleasure to read.
Thank you Anne @ Random Things Tours and Transworld Publishers for this ARC for an honest review! You can follow Jack Sheffield on Twitter by searching his tag @teacherseries.