One September, Ralph Fletcher entered the world of the New York City public school as a staff developer for the Teachers College Writing Project. This book is the dramatic story of how he survived the wrenching highs and lows of that school year. Beautifully written, alternately funny and poignant, sad and angry, the book offers an authentic portrait of life in the city's schools. The stories and unforgettable characters in this book (the principals, teachers, and children Fletcher worked with) give this book a novelistic quality in which the enormous difficulties of staff development in an urban setting are woven together with events in the greater world. The authorre-creates a world in which all of us who have ever spent time in a school will instantly be able to recognize.