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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still good - but not quite as good as some of the others
I've read all Jack Sheffield's books and enjoyed them all immensely so I was really looking forward to this but in the end I was a bit underwhelmed.

I was disappointed to see the Jack/Laura thing rear its head again - I thought that ship really had sailed about 3 books ago so to see it coming back felt a bit odd - it's almost as it he's wanting to inject a bit...
Published 21 months ago by Alleycat

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3.0 out of 5 stars Below Average
This is the seventh book in the series which Jack Sheffield started with Teacher Teacher, then it was 1977, it is now 1983 and to be honest I felt that perhaps with this book we are going over old ground. The structure is of course in line with the school year as you would expect and that is fine. However I felt that the majority of the book was full of anecdotes piled...
Published 2 months ago by Jo D'Arcy


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still good - but not quite as good as some of the others, 30 Jan 2013
This review is from: School's Out! (Paperback)
I've read all Jack Sheffield's books and enjoyed them all immensely so I was really looking forward to this but in the end I was a bit underwhelmed.

I was disappointed to see the Jack/Laura thing rear its head again - I thought that ship really had sailed about 3 books ago so to see it coming back felt a bit odd - it's almost as it he's wanting to inject a bit of will they/won't they soap-style drama into proceedings which is unnecessary.

Apart from that however the rest of the book was much as expected - the school year and its ups and downs is always nicely done - the `tragedy' referred to in the blurb is really quite striking and well dealt with. I always like Jack's sad and sombre passages - I feel in some ways his writing is at its best with a touch of melancholy.

My only other minor niggle would be that where in previous books the references to songs etc were very much part of the background, here they seem to be being pushed - there are passages where these references seem to be leading the story, rather than just accompanying it. If this were a film or TV series, then it would smack of product placement.

Overall though, still a good read and I still enjoyed it and still look forward to the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!, 5 Mar 2013
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This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
Another great chapter in the saga of Ragley school and what a cliff hanger! Jack you have done it again , wrote a wonderful and fascinating insight into the loves and lives of a small Yorkshire village and school. Isn't it about time that Yorkshire TV started to think about a series, the eighties music would be a great background especially as the eighties fashions are having a revival. Jack please keep writing and I am looking forward to the next chapter with bated breath!
Will Laura get her wicked way?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 26 Jan 2013
By 
Janet Davies (Falmouth Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
I loved reading this book, poor Ruby my heart broke for her. Plus children can be so funny,they are saying something very serious, but the words they say have you in fits off laughter.

Another part of the book, had an unpopular character run for his life, I would have loved to have seen that!!

I'm already waiting for the next instalment, to find out about Laura, I don' t like her one bit.
This book is a must read, I highly recommend it.
Thank you Jack Sheffield for writing another fantastic book.
Janet Davies
Falmouth, Cornwall
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful nostalgia and humour, 21 Jan 2013
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Parents in Touch - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: School's Out! (Paperback)
Once again, we are transported to the world of Yorkshire and a small village school in the 1980s. We are reunited with the familiar cast of characters, and there are some new faces to get to know as well' including in Jack's very own family. As ever, the nostalgia factor is high - I love being reminded about such things as the introduction of Sucron and the opening of the Jorvik Viking Centre - and My Little Pony is the number one choice for little girls' Christmas presents. The historical background is unerringly accurate (I know 'Jack' spends many hours doing meticulous research, and it shows!) and brings back many mermories. There is lots of joy, especially in the wonderful things the children say and do, but an element of sadness too, as the years take their toll. The feeling of a close-knit community is perfectly conveyed, the observation is spot-on and the book is another excellent and very amusing read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As Ever, 3 Oct 2014
This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
No. 7 in Jack Sheffield’s „Teacher”-series remains true to the style, form and atmosphere of its predecessors: Once again, the book starts with Jack making the first entry of a new school year in the school’s log book; once again, the reader accompanies Ragley-on-the-Forest and its inhabitants through an entire year, and once again, what happens during that year is a mixture of the dramatic and the funny, of ups and downs in the lives of Jack, his colleagues at the school, the children and everybody else in the village.

Although this well-known outer frame provides stability to the reader (making the book very recognizably part of a series) just like a time table and special events at set intervals provide stability for the children at the school, it is not boring. No two days, let alone weeks, months or years, are ever the same. It is all very much like real life, and from what I know about the author, he uses a lot of his own experience as a (head)teacher in village schools, often describing events that have actually taken place, only making slight changes so as not to offend any of the people involved.

Descriptions of the beautiful countryside, changing along with the seasons, are as beautiful as in the other six books. The characters are as familiar as they should be, but of course there are some new introductions, last but not least a new teacher who makes for some interesting developments that leave plenty of room for book 8 and beyond.

In his first book, Jack Sheffield started as Head Teacher in the year 1977. By now, we have reached 1983/84, and there have been considerable changes in the lives of many characters, while some others have remained pretty much as they were. Some changes are good, some less so, but it is characteristic for Ragley that in difficult times, the community rallies round to support the person or family in need.

As in his previous books, the author has done a lot of research and manages to convey very well what 1984 would have been like in a place like Ragley. Political events, celebrities, TV programs, fashion and music are mentioned; the prices for articles of daily use are given, but all as part of the story and never in the manner of a history lesson.

I enjoyed this seventh book in the series as much as the others, and have already put # 8 ("Silent Night") on my Amazon wish list.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Below Average, 3 Aug 2014
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
This is the seventh book in the series which Jack Sheffield started with Teacher Teacher, then it was 1977, it is now 1983 and to be honest I felt that perhaps with this book we are going over old ground. The structure is of course in line with the school year as you would expect and that is fine. However I felt that the majority of the book was full of anecdotes piled into each chapter and the references to what was going on in the world; the Miners Strike, Boy George, halfpenny pieces and the price of stamps, were in a lot of cases contrived and rather forced.

Jack is settled with his wife, Beth and they have a new baby to now factor into their lives. Beth though is not settled, despite wanting to spend time with her new son, she knows that she wants to go back to work eventually and that perhaps she needs some fresh challenges. Jack seems too settled at Ragley-on-the-Forest Village School as headmaster and is not willing to change or move. Jack is becoming a weak character for me and I was finding it a bit of a bore.

Regular characters are obviously featured in the book, Vera the school secretary, her brother Joseph the vicar, Sally still trying to fight the flab and get her husband to become interested in something other than woodwork. Of course there is the delightful Ruby who for me in this book far outshone any of the others. Life changes for her in an instant and we see how she copes. This is handled beautifully and really gives a sense of community to the place of Ragley.

Of course there are changes which is what is moving these books forward, and the reason I have concluded that I keep returning to these books to read is that I remember so much of the nostalgia of the time. This series of books is of my time, therefore it feels like I am reading about growing up. However, I am not sure how much longer these books are sustainable for?

This wishy-washy review reflects that I found the book a bit wishy-washy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schools Out, 25 Jan 2013
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This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
Another delightful book from Jack. I have to ration my reading to two or three chapters a time otherwise I would finish the book in one go! There is always laughter and tears and the characters are old friends. Dear Ruby, recovered from the car crash in the last book and now widowed so do make sure her new friend brings her some joy. (Just one grumble, I don't like Beth and Laura and am not fond of Diane their mum!!)
Hurry up with the next book Jack.

If Jack comes to a venue near you make sure you go, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schools out, 20 Jan 2013
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This review is from: School's Out! (Paperback)
The long awaited " Schools out" did not disappoint in any way, as always full of nostalgia, forgotten fashions, music etc..Re-visiting what feels like old freinds in Ragley on the forest, but through-out it all a wonderful insight into the wonderful world of the small child. A good start in the prologue was butterflies in my stomach at the thought of what "the tragedy" could be!! Laugh out loud moments too numerous to mention and tears where I would not have expected them.Well done Jack, another success!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barrel of Laughs, 19 Jan 2013
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This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book and couldn't stop laughing at some of the things the kids came out with. This series is such a breath of fresh air and having it to read in early January when weather is poor and nights are dark and cold is just the tonic, particularly after a very busy Christmas.

We get to find out what Jack and Beth have called their little boy. We also see Beth and Jack at a bit of a crossroads as to their careers, but hopefully Jack will stand his ground and carry on working at Ragley School. It is great when you read what things were like back then and you realize how things have changed ie the price of everything, the records that were in the Hit Parade, politics, royalty, fashion. It all takes me back and I feel nostalgic indeed.

We do have one sad moment, which I won't give away in this story, but thanks to good friends and family everythings comes together in the end.

Would recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing Saga., 13 July 2014
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This review is from: School's Out! (Kindle Edition)
I have read each one in the series so far. I have bought the next one as I've finished the last. Very enjoyable
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School's Out!
School's Out! by Jack Sheffield
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