Sugarcane Academy

Sugarcane Academy

3.76 (92 ratings by Goodreads)
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Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, taking lives and livelihoods and displacing thousands. Because the hurricane struck at the beginning of the school year, the city's children were among those most affected. Michael Tisserand, former editor of the alternative cultural newspaper Gambit Weekly, evacuated with his family to New Iberia, Louisiana. Then, rather than waiting to find out when--or if--schools in New Orleans would reopen, Tisserand and other parents persuaded one of his children's teachers, Paul Reynaud, to start a school among the sugarcane fields.So was born the Sugarcane Academy--as the children themselves named it--and so also began an experience none of Reynaud's pupils will ever forget. This inspiring book shows how a dedicated teacher made the best out of the worst situation, and how the children of New Orleans, of all backgrounds and races, adjusted to Katrina's consequences.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 134.6 x 198.1 x 15.2mm | 158.76g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156031892
  • 9780156031899
  • 2,193,352

Review quote

"Every so often a remarkable tale of human resiliency comes our way. It is especially moving when that saga enables vulnerable children to overcome adversity. Sugarcane Academy is a story that needed to be told. The contents of its pages open our eyes to how a disaster in New Orleans can bring forth creativity and empathy that we all need to emulate."
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Back cover copy

"A testament to the teachers who supported Katrina's children, Sugarcane Academy reminds us all that heroes hold small hands on field trips, clean paint brushes, and sing morning songs." --Phillip Done, author of 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching
As floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina surged at their heels, fleeing New Orleanians had their minds more on safety than whether their children would be missing school.But when a group of evacuee parents who settled in New Iberia, Louisiana, realized they would not be returning home quickly, they set about reconstructing their families lives. And so they turned to beloved New Orleans schoolteacher Paul Reynaud, whose fierce determination and unwavering spirit transformed an abandoned office into a one-room schoolhouse.This is the story of Sugarcane Academy: twenty-five students, their devoted parents, an inspiring teacher, and the boundless power of learning.
This wonderful memoir manages to do what a flood of news-reporting could not: see the tragedy of Katrina through the eyes of children. The story of the Sugarcane Academy, an improvised one-room school in a sugarcane parish in south Louisiana, will be one of the lasting books of our tragedy. --Andrei Codrescu, author of New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City
Michael Tisserand is the author of The Kingdom of Zydeco, which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for music writing.He served as editor of Gambit Weekly, the alternative newsweekly of New Orleans.He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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Rating details

92 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 27% (25)
4 34% (31)
3 29% (27)
2 8% (7)
1 2% (2)
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