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To Sir, With Love

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,035 Ratings  ·  373 Reviews
The best-selling story of a Negro teacher in a tough school in London's East End. Filmed by Columbia Pictures.
Paperback, 189 pages
Published November 1979 by New English Library (first published 1959)
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  • To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite
    To Sir, With Love
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    Release date: Jan 14, 2014
    Enter for a chance to win one of 3 copies of TO SIR, WITH LOVE, the classic story of a teacher who changes the lives of his students forever!

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    Availability: 3 copies available, 510 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Aug 24 - Sep 01, 2016

    Countries available: US

    Format: Print Book

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    Anuradha Bhattacharyya The book is about a young man who teaches in a school and happens to be able to solve a lot of problems that the students face in that school. It is…moreThe book is about a young man who teaches in a school and happens to be able to solve a lot of problems that the students face in that school. It is in easy English.(less)
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    obh
    Apr 14, 2013 obh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A No frills book. Read it during train-journey at night (yes, people still use this old mode of transportation). This book is highly relevant to the current Indian situation, caste and colour have played a great role in the past centuries in India, only after Independence has it been considered as a crime. But still the social stigma of being born into the lower caste has its effect on the minds and hearts of many young children.
    In Britain it was if you're black you might as well die, in India
    ...more
    Mike (the Paladin)
    This may not be exactly the edition I read "back when". This is another book my girl friend from high school gets credit for me reading. In the heated racial atmosphere of the 60s and 70s this was a well read book (and of course inspired a well known movie, whose theme became a hit song).

    Unlike a a couple of romances I read more sticks with me from this book. The scenes of the teacher confronting the (at first) rowdy "youths" he is attempting to teach and the frankly lewd actions of some of them
    ...more
    booklady
    To Sir with Love was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. Secretly I was in love with Sidney Poitier and envious of his students. Why couldn’t I have a teacher like that?

    The book is well worth reading for a couple reasons. For one thing, it’s more realistic than the movie. As is usual in movies, story-line was sacrificed to intensify drama. In the book you have narration, background, and real characters including development. It’s less gripping perhaps, but infinitely preferable.

    Also,
    ...more
    Sarah AlObaid
    Jul 19, 2016 Sarah AlObaid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
    4.5 stars.
    This book was a very interesting read. It tells the story of Braithwaite, a middle-aged black man, when he gets a job as a teacher in an all-white school in England which is, more or less, not very reputable. The book shows the ever-present prejudice against colored people in the 40's/50's and how difficult it was for them to fit into a racist society, although most of the time it's not openly so. Since racism against black people is very different in England than it is in the United
    ...more
    Gehna
    5 Brilliant Braithwaite Stars!!

    This book is a piece of nonfiction narrated by Braithwaite about his experience of teaching teenagers. Braithwaite, black in color gets a job in a school after many refusals because of his skin color. Though the other staff members accepted him, the students were hateful towards him and the story shows how Braithwaite changed this hate to love.

    This is a very special book for me as it reminds me of a teacher I have. Those so many things she taught us, apart from a
    ...more
    Harry Rutherford
    I knew that To Sir, With Love was a book about a black Caribbean man struggling with racial prejudice in 1950s London, so I was quite amused that the opening—his description of travelling on a bus full of East End women—reads so much like a white colonial Briton describing the natives of a third world country. It’s the combination of effortless cultural superiority and an anthropological eye.

    The women carried large heavy shopping bags, and in the ripe mixture of odours which accompanied them, th
    ...more
    Penny
    Oct 28, 2013 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: classics
    I re-read this recently and found much of it dated and strangely prejudiced!!! One shouldnt impose today's morals on the past - perhaps!!

    This is a well known and inspiring account of a West Indian young man who comes to England following WW2 to work as a teacher. He had tried to get other work but no one would employ him due to his colour. He gets a job in a forward thinking but struggling East End secondary school where the kids are violent and lacking ambition. He gradually earns their respect
    ...more
    Gorab Jain
    Jul 25, 2016 Gorab Jain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Gorab by: Gehna, Arpit
    Having loved the movie and recommendations from my friends helped to pick up this book. Inspiring story of one man rising against racism, becoming an ideal teacher and role model against a very harsh backdrop, moulding many lives to bring about positive changes in the society around him.
    More than imparting knowledge on the subject matter, Mr Braithwaite becomes the guiding light for imparting moral conduct and judgement, which becomes more pivotal in the overall growth of a student. Every school
    ...more
    Velvetink
    The nun's at my high school thought our class incorrigible. They hoped this book would save us, (well in combination with the movie) starring Sidney Poitier as Thackeray and Lulu as Barbara "Babs" Pegg and the film's title song "To Sir, with Love", sung by Lulu, - it did save quite a few of us. Some of us still read books! Only those who passed the English exam (included an essay on the book) were allowed the excursion to see the film.
    Arpit Jain
    Jan 03, 2016 Arpit Jain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: every student and teacher
    Recommended to Arpit by: Gehna
    Not a perfect five, but still a five.

    To Sir, With Love, is an autobiographical work by E.R. Braithwaite in which he describes his personal experience as a teacher.

    Basic Story:

    After facing several rejections on the basis of his skin colour, Mr. Braithwaite finally got a job at Greenslade School, a secondary school in the east end of London. That was a slum area and so the students belonged to the school were not ordinary school-going-children. They were different, untidy, noisy, aggressive grown-
    ...more
    Shamidha Hameed
    Jun 09, 2013 Shamidha Hameed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wonderful! Having worked as a teacher in an elementary school and as a trainer in a professional course college, I have had some experience with students aged 7-25. Whatever their age, I have felt that if the teacher shows them respect and love, the students reciprocate the same in double the measure!

    This book reminded me of my days as a teacher in a school in the Middle East where people are generally branded as arrogant and bossy. But I realized that when you get to know those people and their
    ...more
    Manasa
    Review to come.
    Jeannie
    I read this book many years ago for a unit I was assigned to teach my eighth grade classes during my student teaching experience. We watched the movie at the end of the unit. The book was much better. It inspired me to work hard to be the best teacher that I possibly could become. Maybe it spoke to me so clearly because this book isn't really about the methods--it's more about the heart behind the methods. It really isn't so much about academics either. Braithwaite's focus is on the moral and so ...more
    Purvi Petal
    Jun 12, 2015 Purvi Petal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    One of the most remarkable and impacting books I read first as a student in class VIII and then as a teacher in two Co-Ed schools. The issues covered in the book are real to date and so very poignantly relevant, I relate to it all the more strongly as a woman teacher having to deal with almost the same issues and more on a regular basis. As per my understanding, the book needs to be introduced as part of syllabus for middle school learners as the book deals effectively, 'with love', the fundamen ...more
    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    I first saw the film with Sidney Poitier that was made from this book. The film was OK, if a bit sentimentalised, and may have started the trend of "wonderful teacher" books and films, which I usually avoid, particularly if they are written by the teacher in question, or ghostwritten for him or her.

    This book is a case in point. Even considering the writing style at the time of publication, I found Braithwaite's prose to be pompous and self-congratulatory in the extreme. He was teaching final yea
    ...more
    Kandice
    Sep 02, 2014 Kandice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is the second time I've read this book and you would think that after the first time I wouldn't be surprised by the differences between the movie and the book. I'm not saying the movie is better, I'm just saying it sets a very, very different tone than the book.

    Ricky Braithwaite is a young, black man trying to make a living in Britain. It's the 60's and prejudice is behind the British Empire. Ha! Not so much.

    When he can't find a job in his field he tries for a teaching position at a progres
    ...more
    Shelby Hanson
    This book is about a black man that can't find a good job, so he has to be a teacher because of his skin color. This story is set in Greenslade Secondary School in the east London disrict.This black man in E.R. Braithwaite and he is the author of this book. The school he works in is in a rough neighborhood and his class is less than disiplined. So throughout the book the realtionships with Braitwaite and his students grow more and more through respect and guidance; that includes overcoming raci ...more
    Anie  Bats
    Jul 08, 2016 Anie Bats rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I read this book twice. The journey of students and sir is amazing. It is a nice book for a teacher to read and to understand his students in a better way. The novel highlights on various issues like racism, personal empowerment, religion, and god. After facing many rejections in his job, E.R Braithwaite gets a job as a teacher. The personal experiences of the author as a teacher are conveyed very effectively with heart touching moments. The book reminds us of our life in school days. We had a c ...more
    Vincent Ho
    Jun 02, 2013 Vincent Ho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Read this in my 8th Grade. Is still the writing style and the way of delivering the message I compare when reading other books.
    D
    Apr 14, 2014 D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    a badly aged tale that's not worth the read today.

    braithwaite was such a flawed character -- sharply classist, espousing horribly aged mores, sexist, vain, verbally abusive -- that it was difficult to find his tale as sweet and uplifting as he'd meant it to be. when he railed at his female pupils for being sluts and humble bragged about his good looks, intelligence, and astounding teaching ability, i stopped rooting for him.

    before reading it, i'd thought of this book by reputation as a tough-lov
    ...more
    Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite has been recently re-released by Open Road Media and is highly recommended for the intelligent narrative as well as the historical perspective on racism.

    Originally written in 1959 and set in the post WWII tough East End of London, To Sir, With Love is a nonfiction account of a well-educated 28 year old man from Guyana who stumbles upon his teaching career by accident when he cannot find another job due to his skin color. Braithwaite accepts the teaching pos
    ...more
    Risa
    Aug 20, 2010 Risa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2010, collections-own
    I must have been around eleven or twelve years old when I watched To Sir With Love (1967). It was a movie that moved me a great deal, not to mention Sidney Poitier's excellent acting! I never got to see it again after that first time, and was quite excited to come across only last week at a local book store. There was just one copy of the book with a very dignified Poitier gazing out from its cover.

    I grabbed it.

    Read it.

    It is a story about the experience Braithwaite had as a teacher - an authobio
    ...more
    VaultOfBooks
    Jun 08, 2012 VaultOfBooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    By E. R. Braithwaite. Grade A
    I had never heard of this book until I read an excerpt from it last year. The excerpt was half a chapter of the book which was in our Functional English syllabus for the second terminal exams in Eleventh Standard. I found the excerpt very, very intriguing and that day I decided that I am going to read this book for sure.
    The modern classic about a dedicated teacher in a tough London school who slowly and painfully breaks down the barriers of racial prejudice. It is th
    ...more
    Lola
    This was one of my Salvation Army finds (five books for a dollar, can you believe that?), and I definitely didn't regret it. To Sir, With Love is like the older, British version of The Freedom Writers, a movie that I adore and a book I look forward to reading. Mr. Braithwaite really paints the picture of what the school he is teaching at and the students there are like. You learn about his troubles as an African American British citizen and realize that racism isn't exclusive to just this count ...more
    Jess MacFarlane
    Sep 24, 2013 Jess MacFarlane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    'To Sir, with love' by E.R Braithwaite is a truly inspiring story. It is about a teacher that goes into a very run-down school with badly behaved children to teach them and he eventually turns the students into well behaved mature adults.

    I decided to read this book because my mum suggested it to me and she said it was really good. She was right, i absolutely enjoyed every minute of this fantastic story.

    This book fits into the category 'A book with themes related to those we've studied in class i
    ...more
    Amalie
    Oct 05, 2010 Amalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Teachers
    Shelves: memoir-biography
    This book is one of my all-time-favourites simply because it’s inspiring. First time I read it I was just finishing my school days and wondered what it would be like to have a teacher like him, though I’ve come across several caring and inspiring teachers, Braithwaite’s story rented a special place in my heart.

    The story is set in the East End of London and it is based on real events concerned with Braithwaite taking up a teaching post in a school there. Though the main problem is no longer an i
    ...more
    Mary
    It is so refreshing and so amazing to read such a civilized book. Braithwaite seems formal to today's sensibility. So much sensitivity and respect in social relations has been lost since the fifties. This is a memoir of a mixed race British Guianan who was in the RAF and then took the only job he could get, as a teacher in an East London high school. His humanity and high standards utterly transformed his senior class. It's really a love story.
    Sambasivan
    Sep 20, 2015 Sambasivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    One of the more poignant books i have read. Had seen the movie a while ago but the book trumps it by a mile. Through simple instances, one is brought closer to the racist culture of post world war Britain. The writing is crisp and the narrative so real that the words seem to metamorphose into the real events in front of your eyes. Well written and more importantly well taught.
    RAN IN JAN
    I like teaching, and I happen to attend a teaching class in my home town. My friends, used to mock me a lot, as they think teaching is not my cup of tea because I was one of the most notorious guy in class,i used to make fun of teachers on their face and due to many other reasons, which I cant mention here. In this mockery and teasing, one of my friend mentioned me about this book as he had seen it on some book shelf. I just searched for it, and happen to read it coz, I havent read a book for a ...more
    Priithy
    Apr 08, 2013 Priithy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Braithwaite, a qualified young communications engineer, takes up a job as a teacher since that is his only available opportunity. To sir, with love is an amazing tale of how he takes up the challenge and how a dedicated teacher reforms the thoughts and actions of his rebellious teenage students. He helps them transform into tolerant, humane, rational and disciplined adults through his perseverance. It's an inspiring story of the high standards that Braithwaite has set for all the teachers in the ...more
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    Read Runners: To Sir, With Love - Buddy Read 11 21 Sep 02, 2015 08:24AM  
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    39481
    E.R. (Edward Ricardo) Braithwaite is a novelist, writer, teacher, and diplomat, best known for his stories of social conditions and racial discrimination against black people.

    An alumnus of Queens College, Braithwaite excelled at City University of New York, after which he served in the RAF during WWII as a fighter pilot (1941-45) and then went on to receive an advanced degree in Physics from Camb
    ...more
    More about E.R. Braithwaite...

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    “So long as we learn it doesn’t matter who teaches us, does it?” 31 likes
    “There's no corporal punishment here, or any other form of punishment for that matter, and the children are encouraged to speak up for themselves. Unfortunately, they're not always particularly choosey about the things they say, and it can be rather alarming and embarrassing.” 6 likes
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