Book Review – Substitute by Nicholson Baker

Going to School With a Thousand Kids
by Nicholson Baker

This book review is a long time coming… I enjoyed the book, what I read of it. I did read most of it but couldn’t be bothered to read the last chapters. The format of each chapter, a day in the life of substitute teaching, was the same: get an assignment, id card and start the day substituting and tell every conversation that was had with all the students. The stories were entertaining. I did find myself laughing at some and just shaking my head at others. Kids will be kids and sometimes they say the darnedest things. It was interesting to see how school age kids have stayed the same and changed from when I was in school. But there wasn’t anything more to the book than 28 chapters/days of the same thing.

I would read some of the chapters again or as part of another book, but there wasn’t any sort of reason or thread to tie each chapter together. Something that explained Barker’s thoughts or why he was writing this.

*I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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