Braitwaite's descriptive style captured me from chapter one. He describes his ride to school on a bus, and makes the reader feel as though he/she is right there, eavesdropping in on the conversations going on around the anxious teacher. Of course his descriptions of the school, the students and faculty, and life in London at the time added great depth to a very good story.
The book takes place in London, just after WWII, when jobs were not easy to come by, especially for a black man. So Rick Braithwaite, a Cambridge-educated engineer, takes a job teaching bigoted and unmotivated young white teenagers in London's East End. He starts the job believing it will just be a job, but soon it becomes a calling. He soon realizes that these young people will rise up to what is expected of them, and he begins to show them respect and expect it in return. Reading this book many years ago helped form me into the teacher that I became, and I recommend it to anyone who ever has to deal with teenagers.
Publisher - Open Road Media
Date of Publication - January 14, 2014