41 pages 1 hour read

Tracy Kidder

Among School Children

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1989

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Key Figures

Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder is the author and narrator of the story. He is a literary journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. He wrote the story while shadowing Chris Zajac, the main character, for one year. All stories are events that actually happened. He supplements the events of the school year with historical background. His rhetoric is informal and colloquial when telling stories from the school year and more formal when discussing the history of the town or the education system. He uses vivid and specific events to illustrate larger themes in education, racism, and social class. He has a very positive tone but does not shy away from describing negative aspects of living in Holyoke or the state of America’s education system. He makes his opinion clear about each topic, not leaving the reader to decide where he or she falls on an issue but pushing the reader toward his own views.

Chris Zajac

Chris Zajac is the main character of the book. She is the teacher Tracy Kidder follows for one year as she teaches a 5th grade class. Kidder first depicts her as a competent and firm teacher. She has a set of rules and expectations for her class that she lays down immediately and enforces without question.

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