JAMAICA AND THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER by Juanita Havill

JAMAICA AND THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER

Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jamaica (Jamaica and Brianna, 1993, etc.) is back in another a gentle story, and in for another moral dilemma. Her class has a calm, smiling substitute teacher, Mrs. Duval, who explains that while the regular teacher is absent, “I plan for us to work hard, but we’ll have fun, too.” Jamaica earns high praise for her reading aloud, for finding the hidden penguin, and for answering math puzzles, but when she gets to the spelling test, she can’t remember how to spell “calf.” Yielding to temptation, she looks at her friend’s paper. The tests are corrected, and she gets 100%, but Jamaica knows she copied and doesn’t turn the paper in, later confessing (unprompted) to her behavior. The teacher praises Jamaica’s courage in admitting she cheated, and says, “You don’t have to be perfect to be special in my class. All my students are special. I’m glad you’re one of them.” The softly colored pastel drawings show Jamaica, her range of emotions, appealing classmates, and the teacher’s kindly nature. This sensitive treatment of the topic makes the book ideal for group discussion. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-90503-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999