Be Honest: And Other Advice from Students Across the Country

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$25.95  $23.87
New Press
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5.83 X 0.94 X 8.53 inches | 0.94 pounds
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About the Author

Nínive Calegari is the co-founder of 826 Valencia, and the former CEO of 826 National. She is a co-author (with Daniel Moulthrop and Dave Eggers) of Teachers Have It Easy. She lives in San Francisco. Neko Case is an American singer-songwriter. Her album Middle Cyclone was released in March 2009. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. 826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization with locations in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. It is the recipient of a 2010 Jim Henson Community Honor Award and a 2010 Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation.


Insightful observations and useful ideas abound in these writings by participants in 826 National, a nonprofit San Francisco-based tutoring program focused on writing. In these "Letters to Teachers," edited by Ninive Calegari, the program's cofounder (along with Dave Eggers), the writers address specific "teachers who had an impact on their lives." All the writers are teenagers, and the essays focus on a wide range of subjects: the section "Vignettes Inspired by Sherman Alexie" recalls events from primary through high school. Another section addresses a phrase from James Baldwin, "prepared to 'go for broke, ' as a starting point and assesses the state of American education. One student writes: "I have witnessed the dismantling of the California public education system, one budget cut at a time." Another group of essays explores how schools would look if the students ran them: cleaner bathrooms and working water fountains, more innovative use of space, and a rethinking of metal detectors. The collection is fresh and as informing as much research-oriented work. In pithy, pertinent, and affecting writings, the students advise administrators to make "sure good teachers [are] running all of the classes," and urge teachers to "raise their expectations of all students so that precious potential will not be lost."
--Publishers Weekly