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Sahara Special

av Esme Raji Codell

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8452518,392 (4.04)6
Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.

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I've been meaning for years to read this book... it was worth the wait. ( )
  RobertaLea | Dec 15, 2019 |
Narrated by Phylicia Rashad. Fifth-grade Sahara has been in special ed classes until this year when her mother insists that she be pulled out. Sahara is a strong reader and creative writer but she lacks confidence and friends. Her 5th grade teacher is the quirky but patient "Miss Pointy" (Poitier) who accepts her troubled students on their terms. (She has never read the student files.) Her acceptance, support, and creative teaching methods inspire Sahara to come out of her shell through her writing. A little sappy at times.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I really enjoyed reading this book by Codell. It has a strange familiarity that reminds me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Both protagonists are females that are struggling with their identity. Sahara grows up to be a flower despite having an absent father. She keeps many letters that she has written to him in her collection hoping one day that he will return; I found this to be really sad. She does not care about the fact that her father has not been in her life, she just wants him to return and accept her (tear). As a reader, you kind of understand why she acts the way she does. She is very private and finds it difficult to interact with people.
My favorite character of the story is Madame Portier or Ms. Pointy. Her unconventional teaching methods has succeeded in fostering learning and building confidence in her students. She is a prize to behold. I truly admire how she handled Darrell and his mother. You can sense her passion for teaching in the scene when she gets confronted by Darrell's mother. I hope one day that I may be able teach with as much zeal that Ms. Pointy possess. ( )
  hlmusiclover | Nov 4, 2014 |
A book written from the perspective of a child living in the inner-city... good read for teachers. ( )
  MollyK_2 | Jan 24, 2012 |
Written from the point of view of a girl repeating fifth grade, Sahara Special is a story of personal development, making friends, and not judging a book by its cover. Sahara's difficult life is very relatable for students from all backgrounds, from her poor performance in school to her single-parent household, as well as her love of reading and her lack of friends.

Sahara gets the nickname Sahara Special during her first fifth grade year, when she has to sit in the hall with the Special Needs teacher each day, who she only thinks of as Ms. Peaches. After her mother has an argument with her teacher Sahara is taken out of Special Needs, fails the year and must repeat fifth grade. Her new fifth grade class gets a new, unique teacher named Ms. Poitier, who has very clever and unusual teaching methods that seem to get through to the more troubled students. One method is the Trouble Basket, into which students put their troubles at the beginning of each school day as they enter the classroom. Ms. Poitier offers the students their troubles to take back on their way home, but no one ever takes them. The teacher also has students keep a journal that they write in each day, and through the journals she communicates with Sahara about her wanting to be a writer.

Sahara's point of view is colored by the fact that her father left when she was in third grade. The family troubles of her classmates are also revealed throughout the story, and the classmates help or hurt each other just students their age really do. The realistic narrative, Sahara's unique perspective, and the students' constant battering with the quirky Ms. Poitier make "Sahara Special" a very good read. It is especially appropriate for readers ages 8 to 12. ( )
  edenjean | Nov 13, 2011 |
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Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.

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