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School Blues [Paperback]

Quentin Blake , Daniel Pennac , Sarah Ardizzone
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2011 1906694877 978-1906694876

Daniel Pennac has never forgotten what it was like to be a very unsatisfactory student, nor the day one of his teachers saved his life by assigning him the task of writing a novel. This was the moment Pennac realized that no-one has to be a failure for ever. In School Blues, Pennac explores the many facets of schooling: how fear makes children reject education; how children can be captivated by inventive thinking; how consumerism has altered attitudes to learning. Haunted by memories of his own turbulent time in the classroom, Pennac enacts dialogues with his teachers, his parents and his own students, and serves up much more than a bald analysis of how young people are consistently failed by a faltering system. School Blues is not only universally applicable, but it is unquestionably a work of literature in its own right, driven by subtlety, sensitivity and a passion for pedagogy, while embracing the realities of contemporary culture.


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School Blues + The English Teacher (Vintage Classics) + Prodigy, The (Peter Owen Modern Classic)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (4 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906694877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906694876
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Should be read by any teacher or parent who wishes to understand the flaws in our education system' Frank Burbage, TLS.

'What Pennac has to say in this impressionistic, entertaining, provocative and insightful book is of relevance to anyone involved in education. 9/10.' Martin Spice, TES.

'Describes what faces a school dunce when the teacher before him cannot recall what it felt like to be ignorant ... Playfully written ... School Blues joyously combines the profound with the seemingly trivial. It gently reminds readers how ignorant it is to have forgotten what it felt like to have but little knowledge' Economist.

From the Inside Flap

Renowned novelist Daniel Pennac has never forgotten what it was like to be a dunce. Neither has he forgotten the day one of his teachers saved his life by assigning him the task of writing a novel, the moment when Pennac realized that no-one has to be a failed student for ever. In this humane and humorous reflection on eduction, Pennac engages with his past selves as both pupil and teacher to explore the many facets of school and schooling: how fear makes children reject education; how children can be captivated by inventive thinking; how consumerism has altered attitudes to being taught and learning. Haunted by memories of his own turbulent and unsuccessful time spent in classrooms, Pennac enacts dialogues between his teachers and himself, with his parents, and with his students and their parents, in the process serving up much more than a bald analysis of how young people are consistently failed by a faltering system. In addition to tackling the seemingly intractable problems of schooling and the challenges of our multicultural society, School Blues is a celebration of literature in its own right, driven by subtlety, sensitivity and a passion for pedagogy, while at the same time embracing the realities of contemporary culture.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring reading 16 Feb 2011
By westmer
Format:Hardcover
When you see that Quentin Blake has written a foreword, you know that what follows must be pretty good stuff and this splendid book is no disappointment. M Pennac - himself labelled a dunce at school, lays bare the many ways in which schools (and sometimes, sadly, parents) damage and cripple many of their youngsters because they simply don't recognise the multifarious ways in which learning may take place. His stories and reflections, and his fragmented narrative style, are both thought-provoking and inspiring.

If you think school is about filling kids like jam-jars with "education", then read this. And, if you're Michael Gove, read it twice (in the hope of understanding it).
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed thinking 30 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
The economist gave praise for this book in a review in Sept 2011; I am not sure why. I really this meandering train of thought that does little to reinforce any central theme. Maybe I am getting lost in the translation. Regardless, I do not recommend.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye Opener 24 Oct 2011
By ROB WOOD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr. Pennac has very well made a point in highlighting the failure of the outdated education procedures of yesterday and today. He offers real solutions by helping the reader change their focus from problem to solution. As he has pointed out, the public educational process does an excellent job of producing "Ignorant slaves and blind consumers." A man with one eye has no problem leading the blind. Read this book and get a vision, with both eyes open, of what we want for our children and our childrens children. Being smart and being intelligent are not one in the same.
Rob Wood
Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be a required reading for all parents. 17 Nov 2013
By Manu Cornet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read both the original book (in French) and this one (to share with an English speaker). I absolutely love it and would consider reading it once every couple years should be a requirement for many parents.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ironic 11 Oct 2011
By Jul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is ironic that once you endure education;a vapid, endless night of shrieking teachers, glum parental stares, idiotic ritual, soul-blasting assessments of ones gross inadequacy, the preposterous social fraud of high school, and hideous, rictus-grin nostrums of "maybe better next year eh?"; to come out at the end, (all important academic record fit for TP, better lied about and hidden), to realize that without school, learning is actually rather easy; to assume on no prior authority or experience that one is worth more than a slice of wet toast; to teach oneself, and so one does slowly and then reads lots of books and so finally is able to read this one. And realize that educated people have been pointing out educations flaws for decades and nothing gets done.

How pointless the whole pile dung is. For the sake of some lack of imagination, one is obliged to be educated in this shocking way. 12-16 miserable years of it. I knew no other life than that! And in the end, it turns out everyone knows how inane it is. Its like prison; no one likes it but it is supposed that it serves some purpose; what that purpose might be... well they are working on it. But everyone had better just keep going to school in case hell freezes over or the sun falls out of the sky.
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