Cover Image: School Tales

School Tales

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Member Reviews

School Tales is a novel that is commendable in its intention and area of study, but falls flat in terms of execution and I hate to say it, but I doubt that this book would appeal to the generation of teenagers that it is trying to inspire. I mean, it is a fact near-universally known that the American education system could do with a major overhaul and I think, if this book would have been in better hands or written in a different way, maybe it would have gone a small way to help spark a conversation, but School Tales, with its unrealistic dialogue, overwritten stereotypes and over-use of nicknames, will probably only serve to isolate to people it is trying its best to communicate with.
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I hate to say this, but this book just didn't do it for me.  It is not necessarily that it's not a good book, it just wasn't my type.  I had to force myself to finish, but others might find it interesting enough to keep going.
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Very good story about students taking charge of their lives and the direction they want to go instead of aimlessly wandering around and asking what now. Makes me wish that I had been one of those students back in the day. Definitely worth picking up this strong and well told story with characters that you can engage in. Happy reading!
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I didn't enjoy this one.  The writing was unrealistic, as I work in a school and have never heard high school kids talk the way that the author had her characters speak.  I also had a hard time pushing through and finishing this after the boy killed his dog.  As an animal lover, that angered me.
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I would first like to thank Netgalley as well as She Writes Press for the chance to read this in early in exchange for an honest review.

I want to love every single book that I read but sometimes I think the reader and the book just do not mix and I believe that is what happened with me and this book. There were many things to like about this book, each story held my interest to a certain extent but there was just something about these characters that I just could not really care about as much as I wanted. For me characters in books become my friends and even my enemies once in a while. lol! I tend to cry along with them and laugh as well but there was just something a bit wooden about the kids in this book. Don't get me wrong, Sharon Myrick is a good writer and I plan to read by her but this was just not as good as I wanted  it to be.
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At first I wasn’t quite sure what to think of School Tales. It came across haltingly, as though it struggled to find a voice. Or perhaps too many voices. It felt like a manual for how to teach high school. But it definitely kept my attention and made me want to get to know the voices better. Specifically those of the students of both Hilltop Academy and Stone Creek High School.

Myrick clearly has her finger on what drives children to succeed, and if I could, I would give anything to have been a student in a school that she ran. Her philosophies about education come through loud and clear. There is something about her belief in teenagers and their ability to behave like adults when expected that makes me wonder if schools haven’t had it wrong all along.

I really found compelling the way that the characters grew through the story. Each character had a story to tell that is probably not unlike most teenagers today. While I will say that these particular kids tended to be model citizens, I do also believe that given more responsibility for their own choices, kids will learn to be better custodians of their futures. The book truly made me think. I wish I had someone like Myrick teaching my own 20-something son when he was a teenager. 

This small rural farming/college community in the Appalachian area is one of those places that most people don’t focus on. The kids that grow up in these communities are often only thinking of a way out - because they don’t want to be like their parents. There is a strong sense of community in these places which Myrick does a beautiful job of explaining. 

While School Tales does often feel like a manual for success in raising the next generation of free-thinkers, it does get you thinking and feeling and wishing for everyone in the story to achieve the dreams they desire. I became so connected to the characters, that I am wondering where they will end up in ten years. Myrick has a winner with this one.
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I wasn't loving this book - the teens speak like they are out of a Dawson's Creek episode and do not sound anything like my eighteen year old - but the premise was very interesting so I was willing to push through.

And then the guy killed his dog.  That's a deal breaker for me. I had to put the book down immediately and walk away. I knew I wasn't going to be able to move forward.with the book.

Every ounce of sympathy and compassion  I had for a character named Adrian dried up immediately  and with it my patience for these two teens and their overblown dialogue.
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Sharon Myrick is passionate about school reform, and has written a novel about a group of teens in Virginia in order to illustrate how standard schools are bad for kids and how revolutionizing the education system can create schools that are good for kids, their communities and families alike. The premise is great, and I love the author's passion for her subject; but the dialog, over-use of nicknames, even the stereotypes these kids resemble (country girl Chelsea, surfer boy Sean, country boy Jake, biracial Cora, white guy Daniel) not so much. I did love all the important topics touched on in this story from suicide, gun violence, loneliness and isolation, anxiety, drugs, crime, date rape, emotional intimacy and unsafe sex; and I agree with the author that our education system is broken and needs fixing. Maybe I'm wrong and this type of writing proves popular with kids, I hope that's the case because I do want traction for this writer!
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It took me quite a while to get into this book, especially because of all the different charachters. Though well built, it couldn't fully grasp me. I loved the idea of Stone Creek; the way it connected with its students and helped them. It showed some different approaches for dealing with set-backs, which is good.
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I hate to give bad reviews but this book just didn't work. The teen aged characters seemed wooden and did not act or speak like any teenagers I know (this said as the mother of a 16-year-old).  I found it hard to stay engaged with the plot because it also seemed unrealistic.  Ms. Myrick obviously knows hoe to write, but she really needs to work on character and plot.
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