The Meanest Teacher

Saturday, September 14, 2013
“It’s like teachers and kids are lined up against each other on opposing sides. I feel like the whole school is a battleground. We get marched around to different rooms at the sound of a bell. We’re lined up like British soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and then the teachers shoot at us. They can’t miss. We have no place to hide. The trick to surviving is to duck the bullets – bullets made out of words. Some of us get taken prisoner by staying after school. Others go home with red marks on our test papers – like bloodstains.”

Book: The Meanest Teacher (Darcy (Crossway Books) by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Jensen, Crossway Books, 1993 and 2001

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-14
Subjects: Truth, Showing Love To Others, Disabilities, Prejudice, Gossip, Judging
Summary: Middle School is not for the faint of heart! Tons of homework, crazy fashion standards to adhere to in hopes of gaining popularity, and worst of all: teachers who aren’t afraid to tear you to shreds in front of the whole class. When an announcement for elections of class officers comes over the loudspeaker, Darcy determines to become president. No one will look down on her because she’s in a wheelchair if she’s president! When a classmate suggests she do an expose on the mean teachers, Darcy decides to go for it. It seems like a great idea! After all, she herself has been targeted for attack by teachers multiple times already this year. But before she can even finish the article, word has spread about it and it’s taken on a life of its own. The next thing she knows, kids are even holding a rally for it! This has gotten out of control and only Darcy can stop it. But should she? And how could she?
Notes: This is 3rd in the Darcy and Friends series, a story about a young girl in a wheelchair. It’s written by an author who has been paralyzed herself, for more than 30 years as a part of her ministry. It really shows how normal disabled children are. Darcy faces the same struggles and temptations as all other young teens do, the same desire to fit in, the same concern that her clothes aren’t good enough, the same uncertainty about how her faith plays into her decision making. In this story, she learns how important it is to not judge someone when you don’t know what they’re going through. The teacher she is condemning is someone she should be sympathizing with and helping, not attacking. And it’s when she shows maturity that she gains respect and an easier time of it from her teachers, not when she complains and argues. She also learns that God is a friend who’s always with her and can come along side her to help her. This book definitely has good lessons for teen girls! The spiritual content isn’t as much of a focus as some, but it is there.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Luke 6:37 – "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


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