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Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World

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4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don’t picture caves, boats, or train platforms — but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There’s a whole world of unusual schools out there!

But the most amazing thing about these schools isn’t their location or w
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Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Owlkids Books (first published February 3rd 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
An interesting book about unusual types of schools around the world. Included are a distance learning school, a floating school, an energy-efficient school in Canada, a school in a cave, a school in a bus, portable bamboo schools, a treehouse school, train platform schools, a specially designed school for the hearing and visually impaired, and other non-traditional schools. The emphasis is on creating learning spaces for children who might not otherwise have access to school, and on bringing sch ...more
Michelle
Fascinating and inspirational. A great way to introduce elementary-aged students to a global perspective and also underscore the value of education.
ILoveBooks
Aug 30, 2011 ILoveBooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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This book is perfect for readers of all ages who wish to learn more about the world around them. This book focuses on education, particularly in those parts of the world where education is forgotten and/or too expensive. A map is included of the world with the schools that were detailed in the book, making it easier for a reader to picture. The pictures in the book are real, they add immensely to the readers' understanding.


The first page in the book inclu
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Paul  Hankins
A celebration of schools--and how children around the world get to school. A nice invitation to students to take a look at how this happens around the world for kids who are more alike than they are different.

Floating schools?

Cave schools?

Modular schools?

Treehouse schools?

They are all explored here in this late 2011 non-fiction text.
538am_Kelly O'Hara
According to the UN, every child has a right to an education. This book explains the barriers to getting to school for children in 20 places around the world. In each of these places a form of school has been created, allowing the children there to gain an education. Reviewed by Kirkus, this non-fiction book is suitable for ages 9-13.

Each featured school is shown from kids' point of view and the pages include many brightly colored photographs. The text might be difficult for some 4th grade read
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The Styling Librarian
Off to Class Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes – I’ve mentioned in another post how I admire Margriet Ruur’s books such as My School is a Rainforest and I was thrilled to discover this new book that I believe any school investigating perspectives of children from other cultures, lifestyles, and how children learn should read through. This is a book with depth, detail, and various ways to read. I think reading through the pictures, captions, and maps would appeal to ...more
Laura
May 16, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is school like around the world? This rich, dense nonfiction book explores what school is like for students around the world. Chapters address how different communities a variety of factors, including the environment, lack of school facilities, and mobile schools. The pictures and text features are attractive and enhance each section. There are first person accounts from students and detailed descriptions for many types of schools.

While the reading level is appropriate for upper elementary
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Sandra Stiles
May 09, 2012 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book made its way through several of the teachers at my school before I got it back to review. We are an IB World School, so the other teachers thought they should read this book to share with their students how lucky they are to be able to have an education that comes so easy. It was eye opening to see how these kids live and how much they value an education. This is a block that definitely will go on my shelves. My students need to realize how good they have it.

For me the most interestin
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Abbie Riddle
Sep 22, 2011 Abbie Riddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book! Thank you Susan Hughes for taking the time to put together such a great children's book. I am always looking for ways to introduce my children to other "worlds" and ways of doing things so that they do not become self-absorbed thinking that every where is like here. They enjoyed all the pictures and stories of all the different types of schooling environments and techniques. I really enjoyed that the book did not have to be read from front to cover, rather you can skip ...more
Meaghan
A charming book about various schools around the world, from "boat schools" that make it possible for children to attend class in the monsoon season in Bangladesh, to distance education on the internet, to the tent schools set up in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. There are lots of photographs, and the schools' students, teachers and founders are quoted. I really enjoy this and I think a lot of adults would, even though it's a book designed for children. It's one of those books that res ...more
Louise Bendall
Jun 08, 2012 Louise Bendall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at schools around the world, and a wonderful reminder of how we should appreciate and work for every educational opportunity. I really liked the bit about boat schools in Bangladesh that stop at different villages to give kids the chance to learn after monsoon season.
Jeanne
Jun 05, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Each two page spread talked about a unique school somewhere around the world. From school boats in Bangladesh to a special school (really cool architecture) in Scotland for the visuallly, etc. impaired. A really cool book.
Nan
May 19, 2012 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent text appropriate for older elementary students, but worth sharing with younger ones as well.
Beth
Mar 29, 2012 Beth marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
While I liked the subject matter of this book, the layout was a little too "textbook-y" for me. I felt too much like I was reading a social studies textbook.
Monica Kulling
Oct 12, 2011 Monica Kulling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes

Writing engaging, fun-to-read non-fiction for kids is one of the more daunting tasks to pull off successfully, and it is one that Canadian children's book author Susan Hughes has been doing for many years. Hughes''s style is always graceful, gently humorous, confident, and knowledgeable. To recognize those writing strengths, the TD Book Awards recently awarded Susan Hughes the 2011 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Childr
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Stacy
Sep 20, 2013 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of you reading this will have gone to school the traditional way-public or private schools with classrooms and teachers and tests and clocks. What if you lived in the middle of the rainforest or in the mountains of Nepal? What if your school was washed away by a hurricane or crumbled by an earthquake. How would you learn? This book, by highlighting 23 different schools in 14 countries, shows in beautiful pictures and words how very different cultures live and look at life and learning.

A few
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Pam
Junior read, great chuncked information with real pictures. Would work in a school that was involved in social responsibility or for maybe communities around the world. although text might be a bit hard but teacher would use it.

When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don’t picture caves, boats, or train platforms — but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There’s a whole worl
...more
Heidi
May 07, 2013 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wonderful!  Full of bright, colorful photos and maps, this book begins by stating the importance of education and includes the sentence, "Education is so important that the United Nations says it is a basic human right."  Following the one-page introduction, readers  learn about 23 schools that have adapted to the needs of local children.  The first school described is a boat, serving children in Bangladesh who cannot attend school during months of monsoon flooding.  Children of nomads in S ...more
Linda
This is a book rich with information about schools all over the world that are giving education to those children who are in need, offering creative ways to get an education when it just seems impossible. It even ends with one section about “un-schooling” or as we often call it, home-schooling. There are schools that go to children and give them an education in boats when the rainy season keeps them away. There are schools that are so impressive because they are so eco-friendly, schools that wer ...more
Mal Czuba
Jun 03, 2013 Mal Czuba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan Hughes, in hers book “Off to Class” introduces readers to very unusual schools around the whole world. The author is showing schools on train platforms, on boats or inside the caves; schools of India, Russia, China or Uganda and many more. This book familiarizes students with cultural and environmental challenges that many kids are facing because they want to learn. This book is a beautiful designed, with pictures and personals interviews leaded by author, which make a young readers think ...more
MrsHamel
Description: A look at dozens of schools around the world, all with something unique. The common bond is the value of education and the desire for knowledge.

Reaction: A very interesting look at how other kids learn. I don't think many kids would enjoy this book on their own, but it is great for a class project. Some older students would enjoy reading about different types of schools. The layout makes it easy to navigate.

Recommended Level: Intermediate

Subjects/Themes: culture, education, school

C
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Rachel
Jul 06, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edes-546, non-fiction
Hughes, Susan. (2011). Off To class: Incredible and unusual schools around the world. Toronto, ON: Owl Kid Books Inc.

*Diamond Willow Award Nominee

This collection of stories tells of some amazing ways students attend school around the world. From boats in monsoon ridden Bangladesh to tent schools in Siberia, children worldwide are trying hard to attend school.

This book, filled with informative photographs and facts, will provide students with a snapshot of what school can look like for other chil
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Heather
From schools in caves to schools that move along with construction sites, Hughes describes many different kinds of schools across the world. A map in the back is an easy visual to see where these schools are located.

The lengths that some kids go to for their education are extraordinary. This book truly shows how privileged we are to get free education (even if we disagree with how it happens). I love the notes from students talking about how their schools impact their lives. The factoid bubbles
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Sam
Mar 03, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Off to Class is a cool book because it was weird to think how some people go to school like that . I didnt know that so kids wake up each day and go to school on a boat for only 2 hours each day thats crazy .I think off to class is a good book.
Abraham Ray
Aug 10, 2014 Abraham Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trivia
good book of schools around the world!
Sandy Brehl
Photo/narrative depiction of schools in non-traditional formats around the world.
Jodene
Jodene rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2014
Hmtigger
Hmtigger rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2012
Derrick Anderson
Derrick Anderson rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2016
Traci
Traci rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2012
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Susan Hughes is an award-winning writer of over 30 children's books. She is also a freelance editor and story coach. For more information about Susan's writing process and editing services, or to contact her, refer to her website, which is www.susanhughes.ca.

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