A Turn for DeWurst

Author: Kendall, Sydney

Subjects: Guidance; School Experience; Growing Up Gifted

Age: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 3, 4, 5, 6

Order code: 4616

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4616S

A Turn for DeWurst Cover

Astrid is a highly gifted fifth grader who is being smothered under the lock-step conformist program of her teacher, Dr. Helton. In order to survive intellectually, she has taken on the responsibility of developing her own mind. She refuses to conform to the class schedule that lags far behind her own. Learning is her key, and grades are important only as long as they are high enough to pass. Dr. Helton is determined to break her, to make all the children in his classroom conform, obey authority without question, and be socialized according to his plan.

Unfortunately, Dr. Helton soon becomes the school principal, and every child in the school is subjected to his authoritarian rule. Every child suffers at some level, giving up independent thought, choice, self-expression, and the ability to function at a personal level above Principal Helton's plan. Worse, most of the parents have blind faith in this educational “expert” and his authority. They are used to trusting in authority, for authority has meant rule by the experts, and the experts are believed to be inherently good and moral.

It is up to the children to sound the wake-up call to get their parents to take their plight seriously. The town meeting, forced by the children and a handful of thinking adults, is the forum at which the ideas behind the novel's conflict are made explicit by civilized and impassioned individual presentations, and an emotionally charged secret is revealed.

A Turn for DeWurst is a philosophical gem in which characters are multidimensional, living, thinking, reacting human beings. It is clearly and beautifully written.

Astrid is a highly gifted fifth grader who is being smothered under the lock-step conformist program of her teacher, Dr. Helton. In order to survive intellectually, she has taken on the responsibility of developing her own mind. She refuses to conform to the class schedule that lags far behind her own. Learning is her key, and grades are important only as long as they are high enough to pass. Dr. Helton is determined to break her, to make all the children in his classroom conform, obey authority without question, and be socialized according to his plan. 

Unfortunately, Dr. Helton soon becomes the school principal, and every child in the school is subjected to his authoritarian rule. Every child suffers at some level, giving up independent thought, choice, self-expression, and the ability to function at a personal level above Principal Helton's plan. Worse, most of the parents have blind faith in this educational “expert” and his authority. They are used to trusting in authority, for authority has meant rule by the experts, and the experts are believed to be inherently good and moral. 

It is up to the children to sound the wake-up call to get their parents to take their plight seriously. The town meeting, forced by the children and a handful of thinking adults, is the forum at which the ideas behind the novel's conflict are made explicit by civilized and impassioned individual presentations, and an emotionally charged secret is revealed.

A Turn for DeWurst is a philosophical gem in which characters are multidimensional, living, thinking, reacting human beings. It is clearly and beautifully written.

A Turn for DeWurst Cover

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