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SO WHAT! STORIES or WHATEVER! (So What! Series Book 1) by [Griffiths, G J]
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SO WHAT! STORIES or WHATEVER! (So What! Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in So What! Series (3 Book Series)

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

G J Griffiths is a UK baby-boomer who worked for quite a while in the Photographic industry. Then he became a Science teacher for about twenty years. He likes reading (lots!) walking in the countryside and birdwatching - and being a Grandad! Having retired he thought he would like to write a novel. When GJ started writing Fallen Hero he was already well into the collection of stories later to become his second book: So What! Stories or Whatever! But the general direction of the plot and many of the characters were not properly formed at that time. Then along came the idea for Fallen Hero and that took over for the next 18 months or so! Originally after he had retired from teaching GJ Griffiths just wanted to write - write about many of the kids he had taught and tell his readers about some of their hilarious tales. But after a while he realised that so many of the stories would be tinged with sadness or tragedy - poignant moments, and that it was not going to be just another "book of funny stories". If he was going to include some of the difficulties that the kids' teachers also faced, many times a day sometimes, then he had to also write about why they wanted to come into education, and more importantly, why they were determined to stay in it! So Robert Jeffrey was "born" and his story is gradually unfolded and woven between the collection of students' stories. There was a danger that the book would become a continuous whinge from yet another cynical, grumbling teacher. Enter Kyle Crabbe, the bully, and some of the tales begin to have a sinister theme to them! With that stage set it meant that G J could lead the reader up a path that would allow a twist to it! Some of the books that Robert Jeffrey had read and that had inspired him to want to teach coincided, strangely enough, with some of the list that G J Griffiths had also valued. It was a list that included: R Delderfield's "To Serve Them All My Days", Thomas Hughes' "Tom Brown's Schooldays", D H Lawrence's "The Rainbow", E R Braithwaite's "To Sir with Love", "Neill! Neill! Orange Peel!", plus, of course, a couple from The Master - Charles Dickens, such as "Hard Times" and "Nicholas Nickleby". G J Griffiths still has many more So What! Stories to tell. Until he had almost finished his second book he hadn't realised that there was going to be another book-full to come out of his head and onto the written page. The second book in the series So What's Next! is now available, the third's on its way!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1278 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Create Space; 1 edition (30 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DU2JLH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #517,991 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is very rare for me to post a review on Amazon but after reading this book I thought the author deserved so much credit and I wanted to encourage others to read it.

I was told that this was intended to be series of stories but when I read it seemed structured more like a novel, albeit with individual anecdotes included here and there. The book tells the tale of a men, Robert Jeffrey, who sets out to prove to himself (and his father under whose shadow he always seems to be) that he can become a Science teacher who will motivate children and get them to enjoy Science. Therefore, the setting is very much a school one and it is so realistically portrayed that I suspect the author has been, or maybe still is, a Science teacher. The classroom scenes and the interaction of the teachers among themselves and with their pupils are brilliantly described. They really do make for riveting reading.

The plot itself is rather a loose one, which perhaps accounts for its being described as a collection of tales and basically focuses on Robert Jeffrey's progression from a newly qualified teacher, bright eyed and bushy tailed but as naïve as he is well intentioned, to a highly respected and experienced member of staff and his encounters with a particularly unpleasant bully boy, Kyle, (good name for a bully!) who has no respect for authority or, indeed, anyone. His exploits are very epitomized by his physical and mental bullying of the brothers Adam and Nigel Shantra, two intelligent and well behaved boys who are no match for bully boy Kyle at school.

The characterisation in the book is one of its strongest features. Robert Jeffrey, around whom all of the action revolves, is a multi-faceted character who exhibits a combination of strengths and weaknesses in a complex mix.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Snippets of stories from the career of a science teacher are richly sewn together into a quilt that will bring back memories of your school days. The kids were terrifying, but the teacher also learned...He learnt compassion, humility and firmness. The end wraps it up with the typical reward most teachers get, some students remain terrifying, even when you bump into them later in life, but others reassure you that you were a good teacher, and they got your back like you once had theirs.

A Nice read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
In So What! Stories or Whatever! G.J. Griffiths offers us a very realistic academic world. Readers follow Robert Jeffrey through his career at a high school in Britain. As a Gen Xer myself, I am amazed at how lippy kids have become to teachers. I realize that this is fiction, but I also realize that every writer writes with a grain of truth. Dialog is tricky unless you can imagine the words being said. Griffiths offers up some very realistic dialog. I literally laughed out loud quite a few times. Mr. Jeffrey is a sympathetic character without asking for sympathy. I imagine being a teacher in middle school and high school (especially in today's world) is not for the faint of heart. The twist at the end is great and really pulls the whole set of stories together!

I highly recommend this book - especially to teachers!
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Format: Paperback
A vignette of teaching experiences chronicling the development and experiences of science teacher Robert Jeffrey. While the perspective changes now and again to a separate teacher to fill in gaps or provide an alternate viewpoint, all roads lead back to Mr. Jeffrey.

The cast in these stories is considerable, as it must be in order to paint a complete picture of a classroom, as well as the experiences of a teacher, over time--students, staff, experiences inside and outside a classroom that define one’s career. Initially, the load can be overwhelming, but it does not remain so. Some characters come to the forefront and remain, an afterimage stuck on the retina, while others fade into the background.

Still, it’s the children who hold this story together. Certainly the teachers are of some interest, but it’s the children’s behavior and development that capture our fascination while it is the teacher’s role to harness their potential. I want the teacher to succeed, but into that success is woven the successes and failures of the children, and in dealing with the children we learn more about them. Mr. Jeffrey seems to identify very early on that these aren’t simply children or students, they are individual human beings with distinct characters, even if some are negative. This is something a teacher understands.

Interestingly, one of the early lessons Mr. Jeffrey learns is that he can’t be nice, that he must be an authority figure rather than a friend. And yet, as he gains control over the children this allows him to receive more of their attention and become more attenuated to their needs and distresses. Which is what he wants from teaching, in addition to making them successful students and appreciating the genuinely curious.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This collection of three books uses some cross-fertilisation of character and setting but each would stand alone quite comfortably and, arguably, more successfully.
The first book reads more like a memoire than a novel. A series of incidents, situations and character outlines form a teacher’s purportedly imaginary recollection of his teaching experiences. Some of the events were clearly amusing that the time, but their narration came across as rather laboured and more than once I found myself with the thought ‘perhaps you had to have been there.’ There was little cohesion or development, for me, however the events of the finale did shock me and I began to view the central character with more interest.
So much so that I hoped that the second book would follow this character into his teaching at a college of FE; suddenly he was more solid and human to me than he had been throughout the first book. How would a new teaching environment, more mature students and the new-found recognition of his own short-comings influence him? However, the second book took another teacher as its main protagonist; the setting, the issues and the character types remained the same. It worked better as a novel, though, with a central storyline - the rescue and improvement of the school’s nature area. What a shame that the writer chose such unlikely and overtly ‘comedic’ names for some of his characters - it did prevent me from taking them at all seriously, which was a shame, as their trials and tribulations were, at times, quite affecting.
The third book is labelled as a ‘thriller’ but I am afraid that it didn’t thrill me.
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