This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so here are some books with awesome teachers!
The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake. Maleeka Madison is sick of being teased for her homemade clothes, her dark skin, and her good grades. She has a deal with the bad girls that they'll look out for her if she does their homework, but it doesn't solve everything. Then a new teacher comes and tries to turn everything upside down, and Meleeka's friends aren't having any of it.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. Doug Swieteck comes from a rough family, and even moving to a new town doesn't help. All the adults in his life have painted him with the same brush as his father and brother, quick to blame and with low expectations. But the town librarian and the the science teacher who supervises detention see Doug for Doug.
Fat Cat by Robin Brande. The premise of Mr. Fizer's Special Topics in Research Science is that on the first day of school, you draw a picture from a stack. You have an hour to design a science fair project related to that picture. Your project remains top secret until the end-of-the-year science fair. Mr. Fizer's students tend to win, and a college recommendation from him can open doors at universities that Cat wouldn't otherwise be able to consider. But her experiment is going to change her life beyond the classroom.
The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Alice thinks all her problems will be solved if she gets young, hip, and pretty Miss Cole as her teacher. Instead she gets old and homely Miss Plotkin, but soon learns which one is the better role model and mentor. The first in a long-running series, Alice also plays match-maker with a teacher and her father, finally getting the mother she longs for in a later book.
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. Every Friday Mr. Ward's English class turns into a poetry open mic, allowing each student to express their thoughts and feelings. Told in the verse that these kids share each Friday, we meet 18 voices as they find a safe place each week.
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz. Travis hates the fact that he's had to leave his home in the country and his dog. He's just waiting for the day Grandpa starts drinking again. Velveeta misses Calvin, the man next door who paid for her school supplies and gave her confidence. Told in both voices, they become friends in class, where a teacher won't let Travis pass during read-aloud time.
What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez. Marissa is torn between the expectations of her traditional Mexican family and her high school math teacher, who thinks that, with a little effort, Marissa could ace the AP Calc test and get into Engineering School at UT-Austin.
Bitter Melon by Cara Chow. Frances's mother has laid out her life for her, Frances just has to do it-- get into Berkeley and become a doctor. But when Frances takes speech class and discovers a new talent, one her mother wouldn't approve of, what can she do?
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Mia thinks her biggest problem is the fact that her mom is dating her math teacher (a class Mia is failing). Then she finds out she's a princess and needs to start looking and acting the part. Turns out math with Mr. Gianini is much preferable to princess lessons with Grandmere.
Who are your favorite fictional teachers?
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