Int'l librarian's Reviews > The Education of Robert Nifkin

The Education of Robert Nifkin by Daniel Pinkwater
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's review
Aug 23, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: grades-9-and-up, humor, teen-boys, grade-10, grade-9, grades-11-12
Read in April, 2011

Like most any Pinkwater story, there’s a lot of funny moments. One of my favorite lines is when Pamela/Natasha accepts a cigar from Robert. “This is good. It tastes like squirrels at play.” And as a teacher, it’s easy to appreciate a principal who kicks off the Day One assembly with “Shaddup, students.”

But the book earns its fifth star with the message that school and sadism are not synonyms. More students than not are left behind in the Wheaton School model of dysfunction and aimlessness. And the school’s summer syllabus would never fit the US public school mold. But it fits Robert Nifkin almost perfectly, and there has to be a lesson there for somebody. This book left me feeling good about learning and reading.

One more note: Robert is in 9th grade as the story begins, but I feel more comfortable recommending the book to high school seniors, as opposed to middle schoolers. Too many cigars and swears.

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08/23/2016 marked as: read

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