Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Review: "The Teacher Who Couldn't Read"

There's an epidemic in America. One that is stealing the future of our nation's children. One that is suspending millions of adults in childhood. It's name: illiteracy."

Those are the opening lines of this video, John Corcoran: Illiterate Life Story. I recently read this book about John, an illiterate adult who learned to read near his 50th birthday. The story of The Teacher Who Couldn't Read: One Man's Triumph Over Illiteracy is John's story about his struggle with illiteracy. We follow him through elementary school where he sat on the 'dumb row' to high school where he learned to cheat. And, amazingly, we follow him through college and his years as an illiterate teacher. He was even able to hide his illiteracy from his wife, until the day she overheard him trying to read a story to their 3-year-old daughter.

Throughout the story, the pain of illiteracy is gripping. I remembered the children from my own childhood who were part of the 'dumb reader's' group. The kids who the teacher's gave up on. I even thought of some of the trouble makers, both who were my fellow students and students while I taught, and wondered if some of them were in the same position as this young boy - incredibly bright, yet struggling to cover up their own illiteracy.

You can visit the John Corcoran Foundation site to learn more about John, illiteracy, and what we can do to change this epidemic.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Great review, Dana! It makes me want to read it. I think I'll suggest it to my book club.

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