Remember Johnny? We used to wonder why he couldn't read. Now he's back as the centerpiece of a dark and twisted mystery. He's as the embodiment of the entire promise of public education in the United States, and the search is on to discover how he's become so wasted. Irondale's latest project is a sweeping epic of intrigue, betrayal, and mystery and lost hope. Embracing the world of the hard boiled, noir fiction, Wasted: The History Mystery of Public Education in the United States and How It Got That Way follows the attempt of Education Detective Sam Slate to shed day light on what some would call one of the greatest crimes in American history. To get at its roots Sam must follow leads that connect a web of missed opportunities and broken promises, while avoiding the easy allure of comforting myths about the good old days when our public schools worked just fine. As he makes his way along his perilous journey Sam is confronted by the ghosts of failed reform, political conniving, and deadly poisonous figures of bureaucracy. At times he falls in with bad company, but is able to escape the machinations of such men as Elwood Cubberly and the clutches of Horace Mann. He meets a good woman named Ella . . .Ella Young, and also some little guys--Ned from the Third Reader, Dick and Jane and a yellow mug known only as the Big Bird. What he finds at the end of the line will implicate even the founding fathers.
Appropriate for ages 12+
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