“And don't talk to clowns,” someone shouted from the back. ... Some girls wore
cheeky little two-pieces flecked with polka dots and daisies; others skulked about
in their fathers' T-shirts. ... their knees, they dug into their beach bags, emerging
with plastic containers and painted tins and shoeboxes lined with waxed paper.
Author: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
View: 141Ms. Hempel Chronicles is a "deeply affecting" (Los Angeles Times) novel of a devoted young teacher finding her way Ms. Beatrice Hempel, teacher of seventh grade, is new—new to teaching, new to the school, newly engaged, and newly bereft of her idiosyncratic father. Grappling awkwardly with her newness, she struggles to figure out what is expected of her in life and at work. Is it acceptable to introduce swear words into the English curriculum, enlist students to write their own report cards, or bring up personal experiences while teaching a sex-education class? Sarah Shun-lien Bynum finds characters at their most vulnerable, then explores those precarious moments in sharp, graceful prose. From this most innovative of young writers comes another journey down the rabbit hole to the wonderland of middle school, memory, daydreaming, and the extraordinary business of growing up.