Book by Erin Gruwell
Review by Carrie Jodelka
DePaul University (IL)
The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom is, in fact, one “gigantic” compilation of quotes and pearls of wisdom from quotable favorites like Ralph Waldo Emerson, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, and even the Bible. The range of topics covered in this book is applicable to educators and academic advisors alike; touching on the serious and light-hearted moments of the profession. These topics, 14 to be exact, are cleverly organized and entitled in the form of chapters such as “Extremes of Intelligence” and “Those We Teach and Those Who Raise Them.” Those looking for a few quotes to adorn their offices or classroom walls will find that this book is biblical in proportion – 800 pages in length – and can certainly supply adequate inspiration.
Of note is the three page foreword penned by the talented writer, Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man. McCourt takes the time to pause and applaud the work of fellow educational professionals and lauds the governmental system that controls the educational system. Moreover, McCourt, makes no effort to deny the identity of The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom and points out the magnitude and futility of actually attempting to “read” this book; calling it a “bowl of peanuts (bet you can’t read just one!), a literary antipasto” (p. v).
At best, The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom offers the occasional poignant insight for the reader. Among the prolonged and terse quotes from notables, readers can find a 30 word spectacle of hope, encouragement, and humor; an affirmation for their lives as supporters and informers in the audacious world of education.
The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom (2007) Book by Erin Gruwell. Review by Carrie Jodelka. New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 788 pp. Price $12.95. ISBN 978-1-60239-177-2