Catherine Atkins Alt Ed

ISBN 13: 9780142402351

Alt Ed

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9780142402351: Alt Ed

Susan Calloway, bullied and overweight, faces daily humiliation at the hands of her classmates?and she?s had enough. With her anger about to reach the boiling point, Susan lands in an alternative education class, a sort of group therapy for the nearly expelled. School is bad enough, but facing off with five peers, including her cruelest tormentor, is worse. Now Susan is being forced to do something she?s always avoided?talk about herself and listen to what other people have to say about her. She has two choices: find her voice, or be prepared to take the insults in silence. It won?t be easy, but alt ed may be just the last resort Susan needs.

?Carefully nuanced connections between characters plus insight into the adolescent ability to use low self-esteem as a cruel weapon catapults Atkins?s novel of troubled teens well above the familiarity of its trappings. Each of Atkins?s characters emerges, fully formed from these pages.?
?Publishers Weekly, starred review

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About the Author:

Catherine Atkins is a teacher as well as a writer. She has taught in alternative education programs for the past ten years, working with students of all ages, from elementary level to adults. Most of her teaching experience, however, has been with teenagers. "I enjoy working with teens," Atkins says. "They have it all: the curiosity and vulnerability of children, the blossoming intelligence and awareness of their age, and surprising empathy and maturity, sometimes when you least expect it." She especially enjoys helping students improve their writing skills. "I have given my 'How to write a five-paragraph essay' lesson to many teens over the years, and it's always a joy to watch their faces when they realize they CAN do it, they can write an essay, when they never believed they could before." Catherine's background includes stints as a news reporter and talk-show host. She loves animals, art, and theater. At the age of four, she appeared in a nationally broadcast Pepsi commercial.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up-Susan Callaway is a painfully self-conscious sophomore at Wayne High. Constantly teased about her weight, she has no friends. Her longtime nemesis, Kale Krasner, is a slow-witted bully whom she suspects is behind the harassing phone calls she's been getting. When she meets openly gay Brendan Slater in the school library, she makes friends with this fellow outcast, and together they surreptitiously deface Kale's pickup truck. This act of vandalism lands them both in a new 12-week, after-school group led by the head guidance counselor and designed as an alternative to expulsion for six students with serious infractions. Meeting in a stuffy trailer, the Alt Ed group, bound by confidentiality, also includes a football player, a popular cheerleader, a tough girl, and Kale. In short chapters, these teens begin to talk, but honesty and trust come hard in a group divided by social status, homophobia, ugly rumors, sexism, and intolerance, and it is sometimes hard to differentiate personalities with so much heated dialogue. With Alt Ed discussions so frank, argumentative, and sometimes downright rude, Mr. Duffy gently tempers the tone, and the sharing of feelings gradually helps to build respect and understanding among members. When the group ends, all six teens are stronger-even Kale shows signs of rehabilitation. Although the novel features the popular themes of adolescent self-acceptance and belonging, Atkins's attempt to address so many teen issues feels diffuse and contrived and doesn't fully succeed.
Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Susan Calloway, bullied and overweight, faces daily humiliation at the hands of her classmates?and she s had enough. With her anger about to reach the boiling point, Susan lands in an alternative education class, a sort of group therapy for the nearly expelled. School is bad enough, but facing off with five peers, including her cruelest tormentor, is worse. Now Susan is being forced to do something she s always avoided?talk about herself and listen to what other people have to say about her. She has two choices: find her voice, or be prepared to take the insults in silence. It won t be easy, but alt ed may be just the last resort Susan needs. ?Carefully nuanced connections between characters plus insight into the adolescent ability to use low self-esteem as a cruel weapon catapults Atkins s novel of troubled teens well above the familiarity of its trappings. Each of Atkins s characters emerges, fully formed from these pages.? ?Publishers Weekly, starred review. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780142402351

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