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March 2023

Having read everything that Torey Hayden has published, I’m still not tired of reading about heroic special education teachers. I searched around and found this book by MacCracken. It’s written in a similar format to Hayden’s books, chronicling one school year in MacCracken’s life. There are several big differences though. First, MacCracken has fictionalized her account, rather than just changing names and places like Hayden does. (In spite of this, the book is still categorized as non-fiction by the library.) Second, MacCracken writes with much more of a political agenda. Where Hayden will comment on laws and policies that make her teaching difficult, MacCracken tends to complain and rant, which is annoying and distracting from the story. A third difference is that MacCracken does describe her teaching methods in more detail, which for me as a teacher, is interesting and helpful.Lovey, a Very Special Child

McWhorter has compiled a collection of essays that he has written about being black in America and what that means. McWhorter is an associate professor of linguistics at UC Berkley, and is fairly conservative in his political views. He is also black, which gives him a good perspective from which to comment on race issues.

Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent MajorityI don’t want to attempt to summarize the book, as I just don’t feel I can do it accurately. All I can say is that if you’ve ever felt like race relations (especially between blacks and whites) in this country aren’t what they should be, but aren’t sure why or what you can do about it, you should read this book. McWhorter is the author of another book which I greatly enjoyed —Losing the Race–which is also about race issues. If you are going to choose one McWhorter book to read, I would recommend Losing the Race over Authentially Black.