Okay, so I haven’t had The School That Was: A School Marm’s Tale for THAT long–I just wanted the literary allusion–but still. I’m assuming I bought it for a buck when I was working at Borders, although I can’t remember for certain. It makes sense that it would be on a non-returnable sale, however, because I couldn’t find it on Amazon.
Seriously. There’s something a little trippy about looking at a book that Amazon doesn’t recognize as existing. (Goodreads does, though. In case you were wondering.) After reading it, however, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I love history and I’m a sucker for educators’ memoirs, and what I can honestly say about this book is that it was interesting overall. Not fascinating, mind you. Just very interesting on an odd page or three and fairly interesting for about two-thirds of what was left; the rest of it was, well, NOT interesting. Not to me, anyway. It would appeal more to those who lived within the author’s school district, perhaps, but even then they would have to be old enough to care about the names of all of her students (in her several one room schoolhouses) and the names of the school board officials for each school. If you’re passionate about history AND education, you’ll get a kick out of the rules for teachers in 1872 and the descriptions of what was once considered luxury plumbing, but you’re going to need both interests to make this one worth your time. (Although to be fair, it’s 66 pages plus 10 appendices, so it isn’t as if it’s a big time commitment.) If you happen to be passionate about both of those and feel a desperate need to read this book, let me know by Wednesday and it’s yours. Otherwise, it’s getting donated on our next trip to the library.