Reading Journal Entry: Elaine's Circle, by Bob Katz

After I finished this I went a got a hug from my husband. He asked me why I was crying.

"I just finished my book.' Sniff. "About a little kid dying from cancer."

Needless to say I got little sympathy.

It was a good book, though, and a great story. Elaine Moore was a fourth-grade teacher who believed strongly in community. So when one of her favorite students was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer, she was frank with her class about the situation and welcomed their suggestions on how to continue to include Seamus in class. The class organized daily outings for three or four students to visit him at home and tutor him on the materials they were covering. The doctors gave him six weeks to live, but he lasted almost a year, and made long enough to fulfill one of his final wishes: to be in fifth grade. It's wrenchingly sad, with a wretched coda: Seamus had a twin brother who was mentally disabled. In his early twenties, this twin was diagnosed with brain cancer and died as well.

2 comments:

Susan said...

Cannon Fodder? Cold, cold statement about a well-written book dealing with real people, real suffering, real courage. This is a story about a teacher who used compassion, problem-solving abilities and moxy to deal with an impossibly cruel situation.

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