Off to Class

By Susan Hughes

From 9 to 12 | 64 pages

When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don’t picture caves, boats, or train platforms — but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There are green schools, mobile schools, and even treehouse schools. There’s a whole world of unusual schools out there!

But the most amazing thing about these schools isn’t their location or what they look like. It’s that they provide a place for students who face some of the toughest environmental and cultural challenges, and live some of the most unique lifestyles, to learn. Education is not readily available for kids everywhere, and many communities are strapped for the resources that would make it easier for kids to go to school. In short, it’s not always easy getting kids off to class — but people around the world are finding creative ways to do it.

In Off to Class, readers will travel to India, Burkina Faso, and Brazil; to Russia, China, Uganda, and a dozen other countries, to visit some of these incredible schools, and, through personal interviews conducted by author Susan Hughes, meet the students who attend them too. And their stories aren’t just inspiring; they’ll also get you to think about school and the world in a whole new way.

Hughes's examples of grassroots education in action are inspirational and informative. - Publishers Weekly
Unusual and useful. - Kirkus Reviews
...an exciting way to connect readers with children in classrooms around the world...the down-to-earth details capture both the excitement and the challenges students face in daily life. - Booklist
The strong emphasis on humanitarianism will move, excite, and inspire those reading...Off to Class will encourage them to help to 'be the change they wish to see in the world.' - School Library Journal
The book makes fascinating reading, and the upbeat narrative and successful projects cited allow youngsters to learn about the various challenges faced by kids around the world...in a format that is forthright, immediate, and ultimately uplifting and empowering. - School Library Journal
Fascinating stories accompany vivid photos and factoids...Packed with valuable lessons. - ForeWord Reviews
Off to Class is an easy-to-read yet detailed book that should, at the very least, be in every school library, if not every classroom and home. - Quill & Quire, starred review, 12/08/2011
I loved this book.  It left me feeling proud of mankind for taking control over what looked like impossible situations and turning them around for the good of children and the future. It also made me thankful for the education we receive here in America.  You will truly enjoy this learning book and perhaps it will nudge you to become involved in helping children all over the world that we all live in.  Excellent, highly recommended, very well done. - MidWest Book Review, 18/10/2011
Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards, Diamond Willow Award, 2012
Atlantic Library Association, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, 2013
Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2012
ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Juvenile Non-fiction category, 2011
British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award, 2012
Canadian Children's Book Centre, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, 2012
Canadian Children's Book Centre, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction, 2012
Canadian Children's Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Starred Selection, 2012

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