In this book, Jim Wallace documents the lives of his mother and aunt, Edith and Ethel Scott, twins growing up in Wolfboro, a New Hampshire village. Using diaries and artifacts inherited from his family, Wallace reconstructs small-town New England life in the first decades of the twentieth century. To many, the lives of these two girls will seem idyllic and it was in many ways. The girls attend grade school and high school in their town and then go on to the University of Maine where they prepare themselves to teach. By luck, the young women end up in a two-room schoolhouse.
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The author grew up in Wolfeboro, NH, immersed in a traditional extended New England family. He has spent much of his adult life teaching and writing about schools and teachers. His books, articles, and reviews deal primarily with educational reform and with the education of immigrants. His degrees are from Earlham, Haverford, and Harvard. He is now eighty-two years old, and devotes his retirement to writing.
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