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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Educating Jack by Jack Sheffield

Educating Jack

As the 1982 school year begins, Jack Sheffield returns to Ragley village school for his sixth year as headteacher. Nora Pratt celebrates twenty-five years in her coffee shop, Ronnie Smith finally tries to get a job, and little Krystal Entwhistle causes concern in the school Nativity play. It's the time of ET and Greenham Common, Prince William's birth, Fame leg warmers and the puzzling introduction of the new 20p piece. Meanwhile, for Jack, the biggest surprise of his life is in store...

I read the previous book in the series, Please Sir and have been looking forward to this book ever since - twelve months is a long time to wait when you need to know if everyone survived the car accident at the end of the book. I am not going to spoil that story-line here but it was great to read about the outcome and following friendships etc.

As with all of Jack Sheffield's previous books, there are great conversations between children and their parents, friends and teachers. The scene at the wildlife park and the five legged Zebra is hilarious and many other scenes are just as good and will have the readers laughing at loud throughout the book.

The series follow the life of Jack Sheffield, the head teacher of Ragley on the Forest's primary school and in previous books we have seen him take over the headship of a new school, meet and 'court' Beth and marry him and it was great to follow his life again in this book.

There are so many characters to like in these books. There are the teachers in the small village school, along with lots of characters from the village - the landlord of the pub, the vicar and the village shop keeper but there are also all the children in the school and I think these are the characters I like most. There is lots of dialogue in the book and the best is that of the children, it is written as spoken and you can often hear them saying it while you read it and there are some great bits which will have you laughing.

The book is based in 1982 and so it is great to read about some of the historical events which occurred then too - for many readers I am sure that it will be a trip down memory lane.

I really enjoyed this book and I am already looking forward to reading what happens next to Mr Sheffield and the villagers in Radley.

Thank you to the publishers, Bantam Press for sending me the book to review.

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