19/08/2010

Runaway Teacher by Pete Johnson - Barrington Stoke Book 32

Another Pete Johnson book, Runaway Teacher, and just like the others I have read recently, it's a perfectly drawn and believable scenario. Scott and Martin's class have seen-off two English teachers already this year. But 'MT' is different (the use of his initials is a compromise between 'Sir' and his first name). Scott in particular forms a real bond with this new style teacher.

Whether trickery or inspiration, MT gets the most out of his new class. But not every one sees it in the same way. His rebellious streak does not go down well with the Headmaster and some of the pupils' parents.

There are some great quotes. When Scott meets MT in town with his girlfriend, she says "He's been in that library for hours - it's like his second home" (my girlfriend has said very similar things about me, and I am guessing the author can relate to this too).

After this meeting in town, Scott gets to know MT out of school too, they seem to have a lot in common. The relationship is mutually beneficial. But perhaps too close for a teacher and his pupil.

The book shows, in a simple but brilliant way, that teachers are human beings too. Over the course of just 87 pages the relationship between Scott and MT becomes pretty intense. Scott says towards the end "you treated us like mates last night. And we let you down" which shows that MT needs Scott as much as Scott needs MT. There is never going to be a big happy ending. But everyone, including the reader, learns a lot.

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