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Download Letters to a Young Teacher Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Letters to a Young Teacher, by Jonathan Kozol Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (994 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Kozol Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This is the book for readers of Jonathan Kozol’s previous works on education, including The Shame of the Nation and On Being a Teacher; for readers of memoirs like Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man; for new teachers looking for guidance and inspiration; and for educators, administrators, and children’s advocates of all levels of experience.

From the award-winning author of bestsellers Shame of the Nation, Savage Inequalities, Amazing Grace, Death at an Early Age, and Ordinary Resurrections, Jonathan Kozol’s most personally insightful and revealing work to date takes the form of encouraging letters to Francesca, a young classroom teacher, offering advice, personal stories, and a shared sense of outrage at the inadequacies of America’s educational system.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kozol’s love for his students is as joyful and genuine as his critiques of the system are severe. He doesn’t pull punches.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Charts] the positive tension between his lifelong indignation and the renewable joy of being in the classroom, something essential to all good teaching.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Overall, the book will delight and encourage first-year (or for that matter, fortieth-year) teachers who need Kozol’s reminders of the ways that their beautiful profession can bring joy and beauty, mystery and mischievous delight into the hearts of little people in their years of greatest curiosity. But his encouraging words rarely lapse into treacle. In fact, he offers tough observations on American education addressed to a larger audience. His forceful opinions are convincingly argued.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “His letters offer a revealing, heartfelt look at the state of education and his own joy and agony in reporting on it. The letters provoke recollections of his early days as a teacher and, as a reporter, the humbling experience of visiting classes and maintaining relationships with the people on the frontlines of teaching, while he observes and writes. Kozol offers encouragement, advice, reflection, and admiration for all the teachers like Francesca, who pour their souls into their jobs. The letters explore the challenges of teaching in the inner cities: bureaucracies and standardized tests that take the creativity out of teaching; distrustful, defiant children who take away time and attention from those who want to learn; the heartbreaking irony of teaching diversity in schools that are clearly racially segregated. A beautiful book that offers an intimate look at the challenges and joys of teaching and one that will inspire and inform teachers and all those interested in public education.”


  • “In lovingly supportive letters to a young woman on her first job as a first grade teacher, Kozol brings us heartwarming stories of the magic of kids who delight in words like ‘wiggly’ and ‘wobbly,’ ‘bamboozle’ and ‘persnickety’–and who could resist a child called Pineapple? This remarkable book is a testament to teachers who not only respect and advocate for children on a daily basis but who are the necessary guardians of the spirit. Every citizen who cares about the future of our children ought to read this.”

    Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jeffrey Howard | 2/15/2014

    " Had more of a political agenda than good sound advice to those considering the field of education. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Aileen | 2/11/2014

    " I might feel more inspired if I weren't already a teacher and familiar with the many obstacles we must deal with. Reading the book makes me feel so overwhelmed at times. Where's the book of solutions? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kimberly | 2/4/2014

    " I am currently reading this book for my freshmen sem. class for college. It has opened my eyes to so many things wrong with our school system today and how the people who this is effecting have no idea how to fight back aganist the goverment who is doing it to them. It has made me realize how lucky I am to have attended school where I did. It has also made me wonder if I am prepared for this next step in my life "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kari | 1/31/2014

    " Some good stuff is presented in the book. I was hoping for some more solutions and less preachiness. Will Francesca still be the enthusiastic teacher in 20 years, will she become burned out and fall victim to mediocre teaching or will she leave her elementary classroom and try to impart her knowledge on other teachers like she knows what they are going through even though her own elementary teaching days were short-lived. "

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