TO SIR, WITH LOVE by E. R. Braithwaite
Kirkus Star

TO SIR, WITH LOVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, a Negro from British Guiana, educated in the U. S., employed in South America, with post-graduate work in Great Britain, and RAF crew in World War II, experienced two years of rebuff, prejudice and discrimination in post-war London, and-disillusioned, his faith in the English way of life betrayed, finally applied for a teaching assignment. A secondary school in London's East End was to be merely a job but the challenge of the 26 girls and 20 boys who were his pupils turned his work into a labor of love. At the beginning he found not only the class but the school's non-punishing and informal methods odd, frightening -and embarrassing; he suffered teacher- baiting uneasily but put down his pupils' efforts to break him with cold firmness and conquered their resistance to definite standards of courtesy, cleanliness and study. Feeling increased responsibility to the boys and girls who were to be graduated, he entered more and more into their personal lives and had the rewarding knowledge, before they left, that he had gained devoted friends. More, his love for the white teacher, Gillian, was returned and a marriage promised. A microcosm of the racial issues, this taking place before the invasion of British colonials never ignores the squalid background of the children and their inbred prejudices, and, in its intimate disclosure of a Negro faced with equality unpracticed, is a dramatic picture of discrimination. This will be a strong dose for some.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 1960
ISBN: 0515105198
Publisher: Prentice-Hall