Among Schoolchildren

Among SchoolchildrenAmong Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder. Published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989. 331 pp.

This author has written numerous bestsellers, such as The Soul of a New Machine and House, in which he “gets under the skin” of people in their day to day jobs and painstakingly describes the details and philosophical issues involved in seemingly mundane processes.

In this book he brings those skills to bear on a school. He spent a year studying what goes on in a fifth grade class at Kelly School in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He captures the hopes, fears, and dreams of the teacher and the students. He describes how the teaching process goes on day after day. How administrators, parents, and other family are looked at from inside the classroom.

This book is excellent for outsiders trying to understand what daily life is like inside our public schools. It can also be good for those in education to help them step back and think about some of the issues that impact what children get out of the classroom.

– Bob Sibert