Zachary Kermit has been teaching for a long time. He’s in his last year before he can take early retirement, and he’s just cruising with his giant coffee mug until June, when he can finally hang it all up and live a life of leisure. But the school’s superintendent has different plans for Mr. Kermit. He’s still mad at the cheating scandal that embarrassed him all those years ago, as it was Mr. Kermit’s student who masterminded the whole thing. So now, he’s trying to get Mr. Kermit to quit before he can take early retirement. And he figures he’s got just the group of students to send him running—The Unteachables.
The Self-Contained Special Eighth Grade Class at Greenwich Middle School, aka The Unteachables, is a class of eighth graders who other teachers haven’t been able to reach. Between the emotional outbursts, the reading issues, and the general lack of social skills, these are kids who have slipped through the cracks and have been dubbed the worst in the school. But they’re just kids. And in this funny and touching novel, you get a chance to meet them all and hear their own stories of how they got where they are.
Gordon Korman has written a charming story of a teacher who desperately needs the right kids to remember why he fell in love with teaching and the kids who need a teacher to see them, listen to them, and help them find their paths. Written in alternating points of view, the story of a school year gone right is uplifting, sweet, smart, and it draws you in from the very first chapter. I highly recommend this book for anyone who struggled in school, who felt like a misfit or an outsider, or who wants to remember what a gift a truly caring teacher can be. The Unteachables is not to be missed!
Galleys for The Unteachables were provided by HarperColins Publishers (Balzer & Bray), with many thanks.