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Astrid is a highly gifted fifth grader, who is being smothered under the lock-step conformist program of her teacher, Dr. Helton. In order to intellectually survive, she has taken on the responsibility of developing her own mind. She refuses to conform to the class schedule that lags far behind her own. Learning is her key, and grades, credit on paper, are important only as long as they are high enough to pass. Dr. Helton is determined to break her, to make all the children in his classroom conform, obey authority without question, and be socialized according to his plan. Shortly, because Dr. Helton becomes school principal, every child in the school is subjected to his authoritarian principles, and at some level suffers, giving up independent thought, choice, self-expression and the ability to function at a personal level above Principal Helton's plan. Worse, most of the parents have blind faith in this educational "expert" and his authority. They have been blind-sided by years of trusting in authority, for authority has meant rule by the "experts," and the experts were believed to be inherently good and moral. It is up to the school children to sound the wake up call to get their parents to take their plight seriously.
Kendall uses adult and children's characters in comparison and contrast on multiple levels to get at the heart of their moral choices. Heroes are honest minds who want to do the right thing, and villains are motivated by their desire to control others by faking, defrauding, bullying and physical force.
The Town Meeting, forced by the children and a handful of thinking adults, is the forum at which the ideas behind the novel's conflict are made explicit by civilized and impassioned individual presentations, and an emotionally charged secret is revealed.
A TURN FOR DE WURST is a philosophical gem in which characters are multidimensional, living, thinking, reacting human beings. It is a first novel tour de force, clearly and beautifully written.
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Book Description Royal Fireworks Publishing Company, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0880924616
Book Description Royal Fireworks Pr, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110880924616