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To Sir, With Love
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To Sir, With Love

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  10,917 ratings  ·  504 reviews
The all-time Classic schoolroom drama - as relevant as today's headlines ...

He shamed them, wrestled with them, enlightened them, and - ultimately - learned to love them. Mr. Braithwaite, the new teacher, had first to fight the class bully. Then he taught defiant, hard-bitten delinquents to call him "Sir," and to address the girls who had grown up beside them in the gutter
Mass Market Paperback, 189 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Jove (first published 1959)
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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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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,917 ratings  ·  504 reviews

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May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most of us have seen the movie of To Sir, With Love. I too, but years and years ago. Sidney Poitier shines as he plays E.R. (Rick) Braithwaite, the black teacher of a class of white streetwise, ruffian youngsters, seniors in an East End London secondary school. These kids are poorly fed, clothed and housed. Their knowledge of academic subjects may be low, but they do have a knowledge that equips them to survive where they live. It is after the Second World War, the 1950s. The growing friendship, ...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 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 (for the time) lewd actions of
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book; it made me cry. I have heard the movie is good too, but I have never seen it.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1959, this book is probably best known as inspiring the film, of the same name. However, Braithwaite himself loathed the movie, made in 1967; although it certainly made his name. Braithwaite came from British Guiana, remaining in Britain after the Second World War. Having found his time in the war without prejudice, he was despondent by his life in a battered, grey, post-war London. Braithwaite is urbane, educated and yet, because of his colour, is unable to find work. One day, in a ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book grabbed me from the very beginning. If I had the opportunity, I would have finished it in one sitting.

It greatly appealed to me because I also was involved in the field of education, and saw many children go through the school doors everyday.

Braithwaite wrote about respecting his pupils and in return they respected him. And because of this respect the students became more interested and actively participated in their learning.

Even though this is a partially fictionalized account of Bra
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
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.

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
Sarah AlObaid
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another goodie wanting to be re-read. Too young to appreciate first time that I think I will love this second time around. As always, I think of the movie (or should I say video) when as lazy youngsters we would've loved a lazy lesson. And of course all the boys that watched the movie only!
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it so... Had studied an excerpt in school and so was excited about reading it. Fulfilled my expectations and more. A truly inspiring and heartwarming story. And surprised at the real amount of snobbish rascism abroad.
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Indrani Sen
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
A heart warming book. A story of a black man winning over the students and parents in the poor but cosmopolitan area of London Eats End. A very positive man and his very positive story.
Gorab Jain
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd heard of the movie but never considered reading the book until it was mentioned in "Austerity Britain" as an example of the prejudice faced by Blacks and Indians in 50's England. There are other glimpses of 50s London too with vignettes about riding the bus, visiting museums and restaurants and of course the description of the school and its East End neighbourhood. It also bears reading as a reminder of the attitudes of the day. Racism, classism and sexism abound but we can glimpse the seeds ...more
Tam_ the_ med_bookie
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read during my schooldays!
Highly recommended👍
Planning to reread it this year👌
Read it about 12 years ago, so need to revisit my most fav books again😊
Paul Lothane
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it

How apposite that I would re-read this book again after hearing that the revered old man, Braithwaite (the author) is dead, one of the world's most famous centenarians. This book is very well-written as the world knows, with lots of fine descriptions, allusions, and the work for decades has always added to one's vocabulary. For us Africans, however, Braithwaite always apparently lacked a sense of humour, which ironically is often associated with his race, even those who've been oppressed and sup
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.
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Shamidha Hameed
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Love the book, love the movie!
Hemavathy DM Suppiah
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant book. So candid, so relatable, so ahead of its time. And so remarkably relevant to 2018. While the world has changed a lot since 1959, in some ways it is still the same. Racism is still reading it's ugly head.
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
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my reading goals this year is to read at least 1 book written by significant authors who died in 2016. This is the sixth book I have read this year.

Once again, I have found an author of significant worth, but unknown to me.

Most who read this will be familiar with the movie of same name starring Sidney Poitier as Mark Thackery. Thackery is actually the pseudonym for Braithwaite. This is, in fact, an autobiography.

Very well written in what I have come to recognize as the British style, it i
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-novel
I absolutely loved my time with this novel. The narrator's scientific mind at work - his clarity, precision, and a certain level of detachment - in conveying his experience post RAF and during his eight months teaching at an East London school sparked a recognition of like minds in me. His way of looking out at the world around him and processing his observations; the tension he maintained between being involved and necessarily removed from the casual but ever so civilised prejudice of the Brits ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Rishi Prakash
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books which was always on the reading list but somehow could not get my hands on it! Glad the new year started with this book :)

E R Braithwaite’s autobiographical nove is based on his own experience as a black teacher in a tough East End secondary modern school, gives a remarkable insight into the politics of class and race in postwar London in 1950's and the struggle of a well educated and qualified ex-air force guy to settle in England .

This fine and heart touching portr
Shelby Hanson
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Purvi Petal
Jun 12, 2015 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
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Reading the 20th ...: To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite (May/June 2018) 61 22 May 26, 2018 06:44AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add cover and information 4 16 Dec 13, 2017 11:55AM  
Read Runners: To Sir, With Love - Buddy Read 11 21 Sep 02, 2015 08:24AM  
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E.R. (Edward Ricardo) Braithwaite was 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 Cam
“So long as we learn it doesn’t matter who teaches us, does it?” 48 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.” 14 likes
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