STARRED REVIEW
March 08, 2016

For all the teachers you ever hated (or hated you)

By William M. Akers
Review by

The McKegway School for Clever and Gifted Children can be tough on a new student. Just ask Toby Wilcox. Newly transferred and trying to find his way, he’s distressed to find himself under the thumb of Mrs. Ravenbach each day. She keeps the children in line with strict German efficiency and little regard for anything but “the order and the discipline.” Kids have a choice: Do it Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way, or woe betide thee.

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The McKegway School for Clever and Gifted Children can be tough on a new student. Just ask Toby Wilcox. Newly transferred and trying to find his way, he’s distressed to find himself under the thumb of Mrs. Ravenbach each day. She keeps the children in line with strict German efficiency and little regard for anything but “the order and the discipline.” Kids have a choice: Do it Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way, or woe betide thee.

Author William M. Akers (Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways to Make It Great) tells much of the story from Mrs. Ravenbach’s point of view; we see her spy on Toby and bully him until he wets his pants, so her comeuppance when it finally arrives is welcome. Toby’s hand-drawn journal entries and personal notes show us his side of things and are sometimes poignant and sometimes funny. Mrs. Ravenbach frightens the children with a legend about an errant fourth grader, but in Toby's notes, this student turns into a leather jacket-sporting bad boy hero.

If the tone is a bit uneven and the villain something of a caricature, Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way will still appeal to any kid who has felt bullied by a teacher and may encourage them to speak up about it. The message to think and stand up for yourself is one kids need to hear. And if the order and the discipline occasionally suffer for it? Too darn bad.

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Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way

Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way

By William M. Akers
Regan Arts
ISBN 9781941393581

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