Sunday, October 5, 2008

Anisha Lakhani
5/5 Stars

From the Publisher: All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students.

Turns out it isn't that easy.

Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans replaced with board families, learning specialists, and benefit-planning mothers. Not to mention the grim realities of her small paycheck.

And then comes the realization that the papers she grades are not the work of her students, but of their high-priced, college-educated tutors. After uncovering this underground economy where a teacher can make the same hourly rate as a Manhattan attorney, Anna herself is seduced by lucrative offers--one after another. Teacher by day, tutor by night, she starts to sample the good life her students enjoy: binges at Barneys, dinners at the Waverly Inn, and a new address on Madison Avenue.

Until, that is, the truth sets in.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Being a teacher myself, I understood where Anna was coming from - wanting to make a difference, unsure where to begin, and longing for support from those around her.

Lakhani's characters grab you from the first page. Anna Taggert is a truly likable heroine - I found myself cheering for her until the very end. Although she falls prey to the lure of easy money, she works heard to regain her integrity. Similarly, the students of Langdon are not what they seem. at first glance, the appear merely spoiled and lazy. But, as Anna works with them, we seem them begin to bloom - and we witness how they are manipulated by the world in which they live.

I have to admit, I have been a reading slump lately. But, this was the perfect book to get me back on track. If you are looking for a book you can loose yourself in - pick this one up!