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is a young adult novel written by Ralph Fletcher
Ralph Fletcher is a writer of children's picture books, young-adult fiction and poetry as well as an educational consultant who has also written books for both children and professional educators on the craft of writing.-Biography:...
, first published in 1998.
Mr. Fabiano is a sixth-grade teacher that calls in sick on April 28. When his class arrives they discover that their substitute teacher
A substitute teacher is a person who teaches a school class when the regular teacher is unavailable; e.g., because of illness, personal leave, or other reasons. "Substitute teacher" is the most commonly used phrase in the United States, Canada and Ireland, while supply teacher is the most commonly...
has not shown up. The class decides that they will not report this to administration and decide to run the classroom by themselves. The students follow the instructions left by their teacher and all goes fairly smoothly.Or does it?
- Mr. Fabiano AKA Mr. Fab;— an "adorable" sixth-grade teacher
- Rachel — She has been mute for six months since a classmate (Tommy Feathers) who had a crush on her died six months earlier
- Bastian — A sarcastic rebellious Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...
- Sean — A shy boy who has a crush on Rachel
- Karen — The natural leader of the class who was basically, the teacher for the day
- Jessica — The only member of the class that questions the students running the class for the day
- Christopher — An obnoxious spoiled boy, that irritates most of the class
- Missy — An overweight girl, she is Rachel's best friend who helps Rachel with her "no talking" stage
- The Substitute;-Some lady that never showed up for school that was out for being sick
sky- a new boy that came in janurary.
Susan P. Bloom in her review for Horn Book Magazine
The Horn Book Magazine, founded in Boston in 1924, is a bimonthly periodical about literature for children and young adults. It began life as a "suggestive purchase list" prepared by Bertha Mahony Miller and Elinor Whitney Field, proprietresses of the country's first bookstore for children, The...
was positive, saying "this kaleidoscopic novel is more thoughtful and poignant than most school stories, while still appropriately leavened with comic moments"; it "demonstrates an utter respect for its characters and its readers, who will appreciate the honest and uncondescending portrayals." Julie Siebecker reviewing for School Library Journal
The School Library Journal is a monthly magazine with articles and reviews for school librarians, media specialists, and public librarians who work with young people. Articles cover a wide variety of topics, with a focus on technology and multimedia. Reviews are included for preschool to 4th grade,...
said that "the prose is economical but not sparse, and the characters are developed as sketches rather than in-depth portraits, which helps keep the book moving briskly. Not a must-have but a worthwhile purchase." Nancy J. Johnson in her review for The Reading Teacher
said that "Fletcher's characters are realistic and complicated. They rely on the writing lessons Mr. Fabiano taught them to explain, understand, and uncover the challenges of growing up and facing independence."