Friday, January 30, 2009

Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

I don't really have any wisdom to impart about this collection of linked short stories about a seventh grade teacher other than the bits on teaching rang very true, the stories are amazingingly different from Bynum's lyric novel, Madeleine is Sleeping, and I really enjoyed the book all the way through. And here is a character moment I loved:

"On Parent's Night, Ms. Hempel felt fluttery and damp. She knew from past experience that she would make a burlesque of herself, that her every sentence would end with an exclamation point, and her hands would fly about wildly and despairingly, like two bats trapped inside a bedroom. The previous year, a boy named Zachary Bouchet had reported, 'My mother says that you smile too much.'"

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