4th Grade and Up
(First Published 1999)
NEW STUDENT GETS OLD TEACHER
The bad news is that Cara Landry is the new kid at Denton Elementary School. The worse news is that her teacher, Mr. Larson, would rather read the paper and drink coffee than teach his students anything. So, Cara decides to give Mr. Larson something else to read — her own newspaper, The Landry News.
Before she knows it, the whole fifth-grade class is in on the project. But then the principal finds a copy of The Landry News,with unexpected results. Tomorrow’s headline: Will Cara’s newspaper cost Mr. Larson his job?
This is an entertaining story about honest reporting, teamwork, quality teaching, freedom of the press and coping with personal hardships.
Based on my own experiences, a teacher should be doing something that actually involves teaching the students and not just sitting at their desk, drinking coffee while the students “teach themselves” in a ‘open classroom’. Whatever that means.
If/when you read this story, you might think that the school principal is the villain. Contrary to what you might believe, he is not. He comes across as a bit bigheaded, with his fancy degree and wanting everyone to call him ‘Doctor’. But he is just a man doing his job that best way he knows how by trying to get rid of a teacher who, up until now, wasn’t doing much in the way of teaching.
This book has a lot to say about the First Amendment (See First Amendment below):
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The story mainly focuses on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. According to the British comedian Russell Howard:
“Freedom of speech means anyone can say what they want which means anyone can say what they want about what you said. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequence.”
Basically, it’s not so much ‘can you say it’ then ‘should you say it’.
Example: “You can say something insulting about a person in power or a Politician, but other people can call you out on it.”
Keep in mind that this book was published in 1999, before everyone could pull out their iPhone and find out in an instance what was going on in the world. Here’s a Baby Blue’s comic that proves that the newspaper, even with all technology available in the world, still has value:
This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Newspapers
New York is home to the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States: The New York Post.