Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Firstly, I want to start by saying that this was not what I thought it would be. I was expecting the memoir of an English teacher. The book has great reviews and therefore I thought "why not?" Sadly, it wasn’t something that caught my attention. I did read the whole book because it really pains me to actually stop reading something I’ve started - but there was just no point to this. Ms. Hempel is a seventh grade middle school teacher and with a refreshingly real voice gives several insightful thoughts about how teenagers and teachers think mixed in with some tangents about her personal life. She is at that verge where she is questioning everything she's doing with her life and how she is affecting the lives of the children she teaches. This was her quest to find herself - through these short, loosely-linked stories.

On a high note, the writing is beautiful and I can see where this would be a good read for a teacher.

But it just never hit a crescendo for me. I thought the plot meandered and was just too drawn out for me.


Beth F said...

Too bad it wasn't that great, because the premise is good. Glad there were redeeming factors!

You have been a reading and reviewing fool lately! Good going!

Darlene said...

I read this quite a while ago and like you I really didn't get the whole point of it. For me it was just ok.

Michele said...

I'm like you....I have a very difficult time not finishing a book, no matter how much I dislike it. I feel guilty if I abandon one!

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