I recently read a book - The Secret School - suggested as summer reading for sixth grade. After reading it I so wanted to be the main character in the story - Ida Bidson - a vivacious and smart fourteen years old going to school with her seven year old brother. In 1925, her school in the valley of poor sheep farmers is nothing but a small room. There are eight students of different ages taught by only one teacher.
Ida and her best friend Tom are passionate about completing their seventh grade so they can attend high school in another city. Everything depends on financial situation at home but passion to become a teacher drives Ida to finish all the chores bright and early in the morning every day and look forward to her studies..until one day all students get a bad news. Their teacher has to leave to take care of her sick mother and the township won't find replacement for her and that means the school will be closed for the rest of the term. Ida can't contain her disappointment and her mind is unsettled about her future as a teacher ..until Tom blurts out something weird, and now she can't stop thinking....what if Ida becomes their next teacher secretly so they all can continue their quest for knowledge and Ida can persue her dream??? Can Ida do this all?? She is just fourteen after all.. Can she be a good helper at home, study her own grade lessons and be a teacher to seven other students? Ida decides to take the plunge and along the way faces challenges from both students and their parents..
One fine day when her mom finds her otherwise bright face rather glum, Ida confesses that it's too much too handle and is worried that one unhappy parent is going to complain to the school board..her mom says the most incredible thing to her.. she says "Ida, people aren't bad. They are unhappy and unhappy people do unhappy things."
What an incredible thing to ponder on.. Unhappy people do unhappy things which in turn makes other people unhappy..what if one of them understands this and purposely stops himself or herself from taking any unhappy action on it?
Ida and Tom are a good team and would never give up on each other's dreams..Ida makes her case in front of board of education members along with her seven disciples and continues to teach and continues to learn from her students..Along the way she somehow finds how to be a girl who is just fourteen, a daughter who helps her family take care of farm, a sister who guides her brother aim high, a friend who understands passion and a teacher who learns by just listening..
It's exam time for Ida and her students..this is The One shot she will get at her bright future..will they all pass their exams? Will Ida continue her persuit?
I would say ...library is just a few steps away from your heart...so..go for it...