Save Them All
Save Them All by Wendy Green is an eye-opening memoir about the school system in the Bay Area of northern California where Green worked with underprivileged and troubled youth for many years. Clearly, this book was written from the heart and Green’s deep personal commitment to children and education shines through.
During her many years of teaching, Green, along with her students, has experienced first-hand the fallout of gang violence, drug use, peer pressure, and absent parents. In addition, she has done her best to contend with school and justice systems which are ill-equipped to do much about it. The many stories of schoolchildren told in this book are gut-wrenching and unfortunately all too real. While reading this novel, I felt as if I were watching the worst of the 5 o’clock news stories.
A dedicated teacher, Green’s mission was to teach the children “to want to learn” while at the same time, trying to maintain order in chaotic classrooms filled with the kids society had given up on. All too often, her creative ideas met with resistance from school superiors, but Green did not quit, she kept on trying due to her firmly held belief in the potential of every child to be reached and to learn.
As I read this book, I was able to relate to Green’s philosophy on education as it is one I share. Far too many kids fall through the cracks in an antiquated educational system and no amount of glue will fix it. Based on her experiences, Green’s suggestions for school reform are interesting and hopeful. After reading about Green’s many troubled students, I felt connected to her and to them. I turned the final pages of this book with hope and a renewed interest in educational reform.
Dog Ear Publishing