MR. GALLION'S SCHOOL by Jesse Stuart

MR. GALLION'S SCHOOL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Gallion's school exists mainly in Mr. Stuart's pre-yesterday imagination, although the setting is supposed to be present-day Appalachia. Mr. Gallion, recovering from two heart attacks, nevertheless decides to take over the principalship of his old high school, the one he had run so well before he had become a nationallly known educator. The high school has fallen on evil days and ways--the boys smoke on school property, gamble, neck with girls at lunch hour, and play hookey. All that has to stop. (You can just bet that Jesse Stuart would not like Edgar Z. Friedenberg's commentary on adolescents today and punitive teaching.) Mr. Gallion solves everything by beefing out the few remaining ill-prepared or superannuated faculty with senior honor students as teachers, puts the students to work maintaining the crumbling school plant, spanks the rebellious boys who respond well to the hand that whups 'em lovingly, and reduces the school's back bills, all the while windily ranting on the salvation of our treasure trove of youth. His students resemble nothing presently living or dead; the faculty are Teaching Problem stereotypes and part of the message is that ""God helps those who help themselves,"" which used to do very well for Gene Stratton Porter--back before W.W. I with an even bigger audience of readers than Mr. Stuart has established among those with a taste for simplistic fiction formulas for complex contemporary problems. Mr. Gallion's School is not for accreditation, just circulation.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1967
Publisher: McGraw-Hill