On a rare occasion when I get a couple of hours to myself, I like to grab a cup of chai latte or cappuccino and sift through books at Barnes and Nobles. During one of those visits, two books caught my attention; “Lighting Their Fires” by Rafe Esquith and “The Art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar. I made a mental note to myself to order these online and totally forgot about it until I came across Esquith’s book at the library.
The setting in this book is during a game between the Dodgers and the Cardinals as Esquith takes us through his 5th grade class in Hobart Elementary where kids come to school weekends, stay late, arrive early and perform Shakespeare plays. Upon further research, I found to my surprise that Hobart school is not an upscale prep school, like I thought it would be. Kids here come from troubled families but land up in good colleges with guidance from able teachers and parental involvement.
There is no “eureka” moment in the book but subtle reminders to parents and teachers to fall back on core values like modesty, humility, punctuality, patience, focus, knowledge, decision making and honesty. The book offers numerous activities to hone and attune the young minds.
The book is a good read and reminded me of a great teacher and author, E.R.Braithwaite, and his autobiographical novel “To Sir with Love".