Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World

by Susan Hughes (Author)

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don't picture caves, boats, or train platforms -- but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There's a whole world of unusual schools out there!

But the most amazing thing about these schools isn't their location or what they look like. It's that they provide a place for students who face some of the toughest environmental and cultural challenges, and live some of the most unique lifestyles, to learn. Education is not readily available for kids everywhere, and many communities are strapped for the resources that would make it easier for kids to go to school. In short, it's not always easy getting kids off to class -- but people around the world are finding creative ways to do it.

In Off to Class, readers will travel to dozens of countries to visit some of these incredible schools, and, through personal interviews, meet the students who attend them, too. And their stories aren't just inspiring -- they'll also get kids to think about school and the world in a whole new way!

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Publishers Weekly

Photographs, accessible prose, and personal accounts paint a portrait of innovative schools in this vibrant, globe-trotting guide. In post-Katrina New Orleans, students plant an "edible schoolyard." In Kenya, a school provides dowries for fathers--in exchange, their daughters go to school for eight years, rather than marrying. Hughes's examples of grassroots education in action are inspirational and informative. Ages 9-13. (Sept.)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5--While many children take their school routine for granted, others struggle to receive an education. This book examines innovative schools around the world, the educators who brought them about, and the students who attend them. The book has three chapters. "Working with the Environment" features boat schools, rainforest schools, and tent schools; "No School? No Way!," focuses on educational opportunities for disenfranchised populations; and "One Size Doesn't Fit All" is about unconventional programs in nontraditional settings. Each spread is devoted to one school, with five to seven paragraphs of text, vivid full-color photographs, and a map indicating its general area of the world. The strong emphasis on humanitarianism will move, excite, and inspire those reading about Hurricane Katrina survivors planting gardens, homeless children in India hearing stories on a train platform, and Maasai girls going to school instead of being sold into marriage. End materials include a world map with the locations of all 24 schools and resources to help readers get involved. As our children watch disaster footage and hear about human-rights violations, books like Off to Class will encourage them to help to "be the change they wish to see in the world."--Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library

Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Skipping Stones Honor Award Winner, 2012
Shortlisted for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Juvenile Non-fiction category, 2011

"Off to Class is an easy-to-read yet detailed book that should, at the very least, be in every school library, if not every classroom and home."
Quill & Quire, starred review

"The strong emphasis on humanitarianism will move, excite, and inspire those reading...Off to Class will encourage them to help to 'be the change they wish to see in the world.'"
School Library Journal

"Hughes's examples of grassroots education in action are inspirational and informative."
Publishers Weekly
Susan Hughes
Susan Hughes is a writer and editor, and has been writing both fiction and non-fiction children's books for over twenty years. Her book Coming to Canada was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Award and the Norma Fleck Award for Non-fiction, as well as the Red Cedar Book Award. She lives in Toronto.
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9781926818863
Lexile Measure
950L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
August 20, 2011
Series
-
IndieFab awards
Silver Medal Winner 2011 - 2011

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