Tuesday, September 27, 2016

12 Months of Miss Read: September

The backstory: At the start of 2016, I pulled out my very favorite Miss Read book, Village Centenary.  The novel is structured in months and each chapter explores a month in the year of a village school that is celebrating its 100th anniversary.  This year, my own school is celebrating its 250th anniversary and as we think of our past and look to our future, I thought that Miss Read would make a lovely companion for me.  For each month of 2016, I plan to read Miss Read’s reflection on the month.

Miss Read is a pseudonym for Dora Jessie Saint, an English author who wrote between 1955 and 1996.  Her novels were tales of every day life in small English towns.  Village Centenary is set in Fairacre, an imaginary Cotswold community.  As is the case in nearly all of the Fairacre novels, the novel is written in the first person and it is through our narrator, school teacher Miss Read, that the story unfolds.

September with Miss Read
Miss Read and her students returned to school in September.  My students also came back and together, Miss Read and I made the adjustment to the busier days of school.

We started our school year with a musical concert to celebrate our school’s 250th anniversary.  Miss Read is planning a celebration for her own school’s 100th anniversary and September found her reviewing the historical costumes her students will wear as they re-enact scenes from Fairacre School’s history.  The author behind the Miss Read series, was a school teacher herself before she took up writing and she clearly never lost her sense of the life of a teacher.  Miss Read gets to the end of September a little tired but settling in to the pattern of her school days.  She always takes pleasure in her work, even when there are challenges on the horizon.  Miss Read and I have that in common, which probably explains why I always come back to these stories.

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