Jim Murphy: My Face to the Wind the Diary of Sarah Jane Price a Prairie Teacher



Because I am no longer the presumed demographic for this book but wow was I disappointed by this one I remember always feeling surprised at the end of a Dear America book that the heroine was fictional because the world they lived in was so fully realized But Sarah Jane and Broken Bow both felt so flat and transparent that it took me dragging myself through diary entry by diary entry to complete this bookDisappointing This one was pretty slow for me The plot doesn t move very fast and the characters weren t especially engrossing I did enjoy the look it provided at prairie teachers especially since my parents are both teachers The historical details were interesting and it did show how far education has come This addition to the Dear America series takes place on the American prairie of Nebraska in the 1880 s Sarah Jane has recently lost her father and is at risk of being sent to a girls home In order to stay in the town of Broken Bow Sarah Jane lies about her age in order to get the town to approve her as the new teacher for the spring term a position her father was originally supposed to take Sarah Jane is given the position and must learn how to handle her group of students Also included are information about life on the prairie and one roomed schoolhouses of the timeI enjoyed the Dear AmericaMy Name is America series growing up but somehow missed this one The idea of a story set on the prairie initially intrigued me so I decided to read this Sarah Jane s story is a bit slower moving than the other stories of the series that I have read The story also ends rather abruptly in my opinion with not much of a focus on Sarah Jane s experiences as being a oung teacher Still it is worth trying to see how Myself and Other More Important Matters you like it especially if the topic interestsou I usually love the Dear CanadaDear America etc series This one was a little disappointing though It is the story of a Downhill Slide young girl who becomes a teacher like her deceased father rather than be sent to a girls home Some elements of the story were good and she did develop over the course of the book But I felt the dialogue was stilted at times and the language overall was a bit too modern 4 stars for My Face to the WindThoughts and PlotI feel like the synopsis should be rewritten Instead of In the late 1870s manyoung teachers traveled West to earn money and make a new life for themselves However the schools were inadeuate at best Some returned home unable to endure the hardships of prairie life but others were committed Jim Murphy s Sarah Jane Price stayed braving the rough conditions of the West and the daily tasks that ensuedIt should really sayAfter the death of her school teacher father 14 Capital Cities/Abc, The Early Years, 1954 1986 year old Sarah Jane Price decides to try her hand at teaching in his place instead of being shipped off to an Asylum for Orphaned Girls that would force her to work in a clothes factory 6 days a week to earn her keep Having no family to turn to it is really her only option to keep herself from being shipped off to the Orphanage Her school is basically a mound of dirt outside of the town that has been hollowed out with a door and a window added The town council gave away the original school house to a handful of boarders after her father passed Despite opposition and the poor conditions Sarah Jane decides to stick it out and teach the unruly kids of Broken Bow AnyhowThis book is the fictitious diary of 14ear old Sarah Jane Price a recently orphaned girl who is struggling to keep herself out of an Orphanage that runs on child labour an accepted practice at the time Sarah Jane lies about her age people as Audrey Hepburn young as 16 were allowed to teach in Nebraska and starts on a campaign to get herself hired on as the town teacher towns were reuired by law to provide schooling it itsounger residents She gets the job but she s only paid 1 per month per student averaging the attendance through the month that arrives ON TIME This is way less than what an average teacher would be paid Her school house is an abandoned homestead made out of sod The back wall leans dangerous the council decides to prop it up with long sticks basically it s dirty it s damp the roof leaks the chimney needs to be fixed there is one table one chair no desks no books no flag no bell etc Oh and no outhouseThe council has the chimney fixed and provides her with one pail one ladle one axe and a bunch of 8ft long logs that need to be chopped for firewood Despite the lack of support she forges ahead with the help of some of her students She has the boys who cause trouble chop wood while her and the others read various enthralling stories She gets to older kids to help the Silent Seduction younger while she goes around and aids various students with various subjects depending on their needs After the first day she assigns her students different tasks to help with the cleaning of the school house and creates a list of rulesWhen a furious winter storm rolls in and threats the lives of her students Sarah Jane proves herself a resourceoung teacher and thereby wins over all of her opposition In Conclusion This was an interesting story about school life in a small pioneer town brought to life through the use of a resource oung lady who wants to prove herself an asset to the town and not be shipped off because they view her as a burdenAge range anyone who can read it reallyContentMention of people dying of diphtheria but it gives no info other than that was what they died of. Itted Jim Murphy's Sarah Jane Price stayed braving the rough conditions of the West and the daily tasks that ensued.

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Cs of settlers Ida never married and bought up farms until she had a big house and she took in orphans Sarah didn t have much of a social life but she stayed friends with Ida and helped Miss Kizer I was hoping for something with Charles since they were close in age but nothing at all had happened And then she was 25 and sitting in the school after class and a lone rider came up He got down and took his hat off and said Miss Price I believe I am well enough established in business and confident about my future to ask ou to marry me I LOVED it So why hadn t she prepared any of this and built up the relationship WHY Almost everyone in town went to their wedding and they lived outside of town in a brick house In the morning he went to the fields and she went to school and every night they talked about the day and the newspaper and read They had one daughter Her dad never appeared to her again but she d go outside and listen to the wind anyway It sucked that she never felt him again It was so hard for schools to keep teachers that boards lowered the age and 13 15 The Scarecrows year old girls would teach It might be held in someone s dining room with 4 5 students sitting at the table with the teacher A sod house could be turned into a school with 20 30 or students aged 3 18 or olderWomen often had caged birds to keep them company while the men worked in the fields Wood was scarce so settlers burned dried Buffalo chips or Nebraska coal to fuel cooking fires People also used corn husks or dried grass twists I didn t enjoy reading this at all I don t know why I thought a diary book would be okay when I hate diary books The story was so boring and undefined A girl became a teacher to avoid going to the orphanage and came up with ways to handle the unruly kids It was all over the place The evil preacher whose motives were never shared The guardian who seemingly callously agreed to send her away but then suddenly came around and acted nice like a completely different person The threat of the new hotel running her out of business The themes of walking and reading the Bible and getting visits from dead people The whole time it felt like a pale replica of some other work like it was trying to be something else but it ended up being nothing I kept waiting for the big answer or the big reveal but it all added up to nothing The whole thing felt completely pointless and I can see no reason for it The story literally had no point It was ambiguous just a tale of teaching and that s as exciting as it sounds Interesting story about a 14r old Circles in the Dust young lady who uses her whits and begins teaching school in soddy in Nebreska 1883Faith life teaching people make up this book My husband is really cool Okay soou re thinking what exactly does that have to do with this book Okay well he planned a surprise trip out west for our anniversary and he bought me a book for every place where we would be staying Our first stop was Broken Bow Nebraska You folks are all readers right So ou know why my dude s a keeper This book was pretty good though I was reading it as an adult and obviously it s aimed at upper elementarymiddle grade readers I m a teacher so I was thinking about which of my students would enjoy it I d say that I ve read better YA and Middle Grade books There was a sprinkling of modern language and turns of phrase that distracted me from the time period in which the story takes place As a teacher I definitely felt for the main character as she struggled to take her father s place and do her job with no support from the community no textbooks and a garbage classroom A lot of teachers this very second are in a similar situation I couldn t help but put myself in Sarah Jane s shoes The snowstorm element brought up good memories of reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder But then I thought maybe I should just re read The Long Winter Some very good descriptions I loved how the wind was personified in the story and when I got to Broken Bow eah the wind feels like it s out to get A Runaway World? you The story could have done a little with the Native Americans The characters were operating under racist misinformation that was disproven but it wasn t something that was lingered on or developed On the other hand I really felt like there was something romantic between the landlady and the priest that was never developed I thought that was a cool subplot especially because the MC was toooung to really get what was going on but nothing came of it which wasn t very rewarding for people who bother to pay attention to subtext Might be worth adding to our classroom library as I think it would definitely interest some readers Sarah Jane orphaned in a small Nebraska town called Broken Bow decides to take on the job of teacher rather than being sent to an orphanage a few towns away Then there s tension with just about every authority figure in town before it magically gets resolved because this is a kid s book guys We can t have cranky adults when the heroine is being awesome right1 Her motivation for staying in the town washer dad s grave2 Her friend Ida read like the snotty 9 ear old cousin The Literary Conference you hang out with becauseour mother told ou to and not because ou particularly like them But they were supposed to be bffs3 Seriously SO MANY CRANKY ADULTS 4 Sarah Jane lies to get the job as teacher but that never becomes a relevant plot point again So ou know5 Such a slow moving monstrosity Perhaps it s just. Hools were inadeuate at best Some returned home unable to endure the hardships of prairie life but others were comm.

Originally I picked this book up because my great grandmother was a teenage one room schoolhouse teacher in Louisiana and I had already read her journal and wanted to compare What I got was somewhat satisfyingWhen a fourteen ear old orphan girl named Sarah Jane is almost forced to abandon her current hometown of Broken Bow Nebraska a Dear America really picks some odd topics to focus on My Face to the Wind is about teaching school in the West And it s about as interesting as it soundsI m sure that topic could be made interesting Laura Ingalls Wilder s story in These Happy Golden Years comes to mind but the book takes way too long to get to the actual teaching part and there isn t enough conflict or tension to keep things interesting Oh sure Sarah Jane has some problems with her pupils but not that much and there s very little of the novel actually focused on teaching Most of the time Sarah Jane is only briefly describing what she does while expounding on the tension at her boarding house or on brief clashes with the studentsThere s also such a strange inclusion here of a Reverend character In the Historical Note Murphy talks about religion so it s not strange to have a Reverend What s strange is that the Reverend s actions are contrasted with that of the boarding house owner Miss Kizer and there s an odd scene where Sarah Jane observes Miss Kizer reading her Bible and thinking and smiling and Sarah Jane thinks Hmm I wonder what she s thinking about Then it never comes up again So whatever comparison Murphy was trying to make falls a bit flat amidst all the other preachinessA lack of conflict in My Face to the Wind coupled with a lack of focus on the actual teaching and weak student confrontations makes it very boring What saves it from a 15 rating is some interesting revelations about state law hiring teachers and other historical details Yet it s still another random topic uncompelling Dear America book to throw on the pile I remember how badly I hate diary books as soon as I started reading She waved her napkin in front of Miss Kizer s cat s face and then when it didn t react she threw her napkin at it That says a lot about a character the little brat It was funny that when she went to Ida s to get her dad s pamphlet on teaching in Nebraska Ida announced in front of her parents and guests that Sarah had a uestion for her dad and then left her alone Sarah couldn t believe that she d called her out and left her by herself So she bucked up and told her whole story about wanting to teach and sold herself on her ualities when really Ida had been stealing the pamphlet for her and couldn t believe she d just told them like that Sarah was getting on my nerves how she reacted to Mr Gaddis treatment He didn t want her to become a teacher and voted against her on the school board but was outvoted He was stern and strict about her associating with the students since she s a teacher now Ida wanted to come with her to see the school but Sarah wouldn t let her because of him And at church she kept moving away from Ida when Mr Gaddis was looking at her Sarah and Ida were alone at the school and laughed about a joke and Sarah looked around for him feeling guilty for laughing aloud You can have friends outside of schoolthat s taking it way too far A boy named Charles was 15 or 16 and I like how he stuck up for Sarah against the troublemakers A kid suggested they take the book from Sarah and finish the story and Charles said no one but Sarah would touch it Sarah told Fred he had to chop wood and he refused and Charles said he would make him Some authors write these adult philosophical themes and ideas that kids would never have Like doing her thinking when she s walking and wondering what Miss Kizer was thinking about when she was walking And wondering what Miss Kizer hears in the wind and what she s afraid of The Reverend was using scare tactics against her and going on about sinners and I didn t care Sarah went to bed and then woke up when she heard Reverend Lauter and Miss Kizer talking got up to write their entire conversation down even though she was tired so she would know it was not just the wind or a dream That makes senseIt was cute that the kids went sledding and Charles crashed into her and she fell over and her dress came up over her head and everyone saw her underthingsCarl had missed school and Sarah was going to speak to his parents Ida wanted to come along but prim and proper Sarah didn t let her and Ida fumed about Mr Gaddis It got so old reading how she was tired but she sat down to write this so she d get it all down and not forget anything Ugh Having the character constantly talk about writing the book is really annoying It wasn t until almost the end that Sarah stood beside Ida at church when Mr Gaddis was there She finally decided she could stand with her students if she wantedGee now nifty I was so irritated at the drawn out ridiculousness of this Ida business that I didn t even care The school was destroyed during the blizzard and Mr Gaddis said a home would be rented and Sarah and Ida asked for desks and blackboards and supplies Sarah also asked for a bell she could ring for school to start in session and Mr Gaddis had a flicker of a smile He d finally come around to her Sarah taught for 36 ears She earned her teaching certificate when she was 19 and her master s a few ears later The two rowdy boys became photographers and took pi. In the late 1870s many oung teachers traveled West to earn money and make a new life for themselves However the sc.

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An American author of than 35 nonfiction and fiction books for children young adults and general audiences including than 30 about American history He won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2010 for his contribution in writing for teens Jim lives in Maplewood New Jersey in a hundred year old house with his wife Alison Blank a children’s TV produce