Inspiring stories of older Americans attending secondary schools.




In a series of up-close stories, Rose (Education and Information Studies/UCLA; Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us, 2009, etc.) explains the necessity of secondary education for nontraditional students.

The author supports second-chance education programs, believing that "when well executed they develop the skills and build knowledge that can lead to employment but also provide a number of other personal, social, and civic benefits." Whether the students Rose interviews are attending school for retraining, for the social interaction or for a second chance at a better life, his prose pulls readers into becoming cheerleaders for them as they struggle to master basic reading and writing skills or learn the complexities of welding. From adult education programs to community colleges, Rose explores the need for a reassessment of the post–K-12 educational system, noting that growing sectors of the labor market require a four- or even two-year degree. The author calls for a system that allows for a wide variety of students: single parents, workers who can only attend school part-time, those coming from rehab programs or jail, and those just interested in learning something new or in need of a social life. These are the students who often fall through the cracks in the traditional straight-from-high-school-to-college system, and it is to these students that Rose's book will ring true. Even though they "carry more than their fair share of hardship and sorrow," they have the same hopes and aspirations as those fortunate enough to attend one of the top universities in the country and should not be neglected or looked upon unfavorably because of their circumstances.

Inspiring stories of older Americans attending secondary schools.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59558-786-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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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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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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