Maybe not everyone knows that Mr. Pennacchioni, AKA Daniel Pennac, the world renowned French novelist, is also a school teacher.
In this book Pennac writes about his days as a school dunce. How frustrated this made him (and how upset his well educated parents were about it), how he finally managed to find motivation, become an educator himself and even achieve success as a writer. Four teachers actually “saved” him. One of them by asking him to write a novel, secretly, a chapter at a time, for the whole duration of the school year.
This is a book about students with difficulties, demotivated teachers and dedicated ones, teaching attitude and methodologies. It also deals with what social factors can make schooling a failure and how that list of factors has changed over time. To make his points Pennac skillfully alternate autobiographical stories and more or less fictional dialogs.
What you are about to read is an essay on pedagogy, written like a novel, by an ex school underachiever who pursued a career in teaching and became a famous writer.