A courageous novel - honest, compassionate and wry - about what really goes on in a tough high school. Told alternately from the point of view of the most troublesome student (a difficult but astute girl) and the deputy principal (a sympathetic but overworked man), this story explores dangerous boundaries and reveals uncomfortable truths about parents, students and teachers.
Watch out for Jamie Joel. She's got a real temper and a mouth like a sewer when she gets going. Jamie imagined the new deputy reading her file, with a photo the size of a Wanted poster and words like disruptive, unco-operative, inappropriate underneath it all that teacher stuff that never said what really happened.
I reminded Jamie that student behaviour management was my job, and that part of the issue was now her identity crisis in the corridor. From the way she looked at me, I had the distinct feeling that it wasn't possible to be a deputy principal and a human being at the same time.
Against the background of a busy high school, student and teacher are thrown together in ways that test them both.
With sympathy, humour and a sharp eye for the truth, Mike Dumbleton writes about the complicated push-and-pull between teenagers, parents and schools.
Mike Dumbleton has many years' experience as a teacher, including time as a deputy principal, in a number of schools in disadvantaged areas. He is the author of several books for children, including Mr Knuckles (A+U, illustrated by Leigh Hobbs) and Pumped Up (A+U, illustrated by Shane Nagle).
Short-listed Arts South Australia Festival Awards for Literature; The Children's Literature Award 2004 AU
A & U Children
Paperback - B format
14 - 18
Children's, Teenage & educational