by LouAnne Johnson
My Posse Don't Do Homework is the true account of an ex-Marine who becomes a teacher in a California high school. She ends up with a class of the worst-behaved kids in the school, near juvenile delinquents who consistently fail classes, threaten other students and went so far as to put their previous teacher in the hospital. Determined to prove that all students can learn, she sets out to earn the kids' trust, spark their interest in school, and prove that instead of basic math and spelling, they are capable of dealing with algebra and Shakespeare. Her commitment to her students leads her to visit their homes and neighborhoods, meet their families, and become somewhat involved in their personal lives, in an effort to show them how much she cares.
Apparently in the years since I first read My Posse Don't Do Homework, it has been reprinted under a new name and look. Dangerous Minds was a bestseller and made into a film in 1995. I can see why. It's a very inspirational look at how one teacher made a difference among students everyone else saw as a lost cause. (I'm thinking the film would be along the lines of Stand and Deliver, and I intend to view it soon and find out!)
Rating: 3/5 ........ 226 pages, 1992