A straightforward and often useful companion for those on a school-choice journey.

THE SCHOOL CHOICE ROADMAP

7 STEPS TO FINDING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD

A resource for parents who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of school choice.

Campanella is the president of the annual public-awareness effort National School Choice Week, and his debut book offers a clear road map for choosing the best schools for one’s children. Its initial chapters lay down fundamental concepts—that parents are the experts on their own children, that what works for one child may not work for another, and that geographic location is a key factor in choosing a school. He then introduces six education options: traditional public schools, public charter schools, online public schools, public magnet schools, private schools, and home schooling. He provides basic descriptions of each choice, complete with quick summaries of management styles, how teachers are certified, and other factors. He also offers tables regarding each choice’s geographic availability, although these lack some specificity. “My Takes” summarize the author’s thoughts on each education option, such as “Private Schools can be unique, diverse, and more affordable than you might think.” The author walks readers through his seven-step process (starting with “Think Back to Your Own Time in School” and “Identify Your Goals for Your Child”), providing questions for readers to ask themselves as they do their own research. Worksheets help to focus the discussion with a structured, methodical approach. The questions feel repetitious at times, but they effectively highlight important items. The final chapter asks readers to share their experiences with others, which sweetly concludes the main text. Readers may have questions that the seven-step plan doesn’t directly address, but Campanella’s lengthy “Frequently Asked Questions” section will likely help them. Overall, the author succeeds in his stated desire to remove politics from the school-choice discussion. However, more critical commentary would have been useful, as some descriptions feel overly idealistic. Throughout, Campanella includes supportive, inspiring quotations from parents and school administrators as well as examples of successful schools around the country; several regions are noticeably underrepresented, however.

A straightforward and often useful companion for those on a school-choice journey.

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8253-0932-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Beaufort Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2019

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A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

THE ESCAPE ARTIST

Fremont (After Long Silence, 1999) continues—and alters—her story of how memories of the Holocaust affected her family.

At the age of 44, the author learned that her father had disowned her, declaring her “predeceased”—or dead in his eyes—in his will. It was his final insult: Her parents had stopped speaking to her after she’d published After Long Silence, which exposed them as Jewish Holocaust survivors who had posed as Catholics in Europe and America in order to hide multilayered secrets. Here, Fremont delves further into her tortured family dynamics and shows how the rift developed. One thread centers on her life after her harrowing childhood: her education at Wellesley and Boston University, the loss of her virginity to a college boyfriend before accepting her lesbianism, her stint with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her decades of work as a lawyer in Boston. Another strand involves her fraught relationship with her sister, Lara, and how their difficulties relate to their father, a doctor embittered after years in the Siberian gulag; and their mother, deeply enmeshed with her own sister, Zosia, who had married an Italian count and stayed in Rome to raise a child. Fremont tells these stories with novelistic flair, ending with a surprising theory about why her parents hid their Judaism. Yet she often appears insensitive to the serious problems she says Lara once faced, including suicidal depression. “The whole point of suicide, I thought, was to succeed at it,” she writes. “My sister’s completion rate was pathetic.” Key facts also differ from those in her earlier work. After Long Silence says, for example, that the author grew up “in a small city in the Midwest” while she writes here that she grew up in “upstate New York,” changes Fremont says she made for “consistency” in the new book but that muddy its narrative waters. The discrepancies may not bother readers seeking psychological insights rather than factual accuracy, but others will wonder if this book should have been labeled a fictionalized autobiography rather than a memoir.

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982113-60-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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