Top positive review
New Italian teacher finds his heart
August 12, 2018
The trope of someone taking a teaching job because they think it's a cakewalk is a well used literary plot. Surprise and shock that it's difficult, and the kids have their own personalities and problems, don't forget the political nonsense with the administration, and oh, there are parents, too. Not such a cakewalk, before you even get into the whole subject matter knowledge, homework, and tests.
This one is set in the mid 70's, with an Italian teacher, Mr. Piza, and all the (shamefully yet humorously true) stereotypes that go along with it. He joins the staff of a Catholic school, because nuns can only improve the plot. (Spoiler: they actually do improve the plot).
It's well crafted enough to ring true in a number of levels, soundly edited. The writing style brought me into the story beautifully, and the main character well fleshed out. The secondary characters are as explained as they need to be to work with the story. I would look for more from this author. An example of the writing:
"Considering how flat his students had been after the four-day Thanksgiving recess, Piza surmised they might be borderline catatonic returning after Christmas. To his surprise, they were remarkably upbeat.
Once they finished settling in, Sukie McDermott raised her hand. “So, Mr. Piza, did you miss us?”
“Hmm. Depends on what you mean by ‘miss’. If you mean was I locked in my room every day, weeping while I clutched the class photo to my heart, then the answer would be no.” Laughter. “If, however, you mean am I happy to see you guys, that would also be a no.” His grin elicited another laugh."