Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way

Mrs. Ravenbach's Way
Author: William M. Akers
Publisher: Regan Arts
Genre: Middle-grade
ISBN: 978-194139358-1
Pages: 240
Price: $18.99

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Mrs. Ravenbach teaches 4th grade at the KcKegway School for Clever and Gifted Children and she’s keen on receiving her fifth Golden Apple Award this year. But her newest pupil, Tobias Wilcox, is making this extremely difficult. In fact, his rebellious nature has her convinced that he will follow the path of one of her former students, Fast Eddie LeJeune, who she believes has been spending time in the penitentiary.

As the school year progresses, Mrs. Ravenbach is determined to fully control Tobias, eliminating any of the independent thinking he so fiercely clings to. Reading his private journal and bribing his best friend for information are considered necessary evils in order to accomplish her mission. But Tobias is onto her, and he has a plan to expose her evil teaching methods.

While Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way appears to be a subversive middle-grade novel, it reads more like an adult novel. Tobias plays only a small part in this classroom drama, and what little we do see of his thoughts is confined to his journal entries. We have only a few subtle hints that he is planning his revenge. Especially clever and gifted kids will find this story amusing, but I don’t know if the average middle-grade reader will be able to see past the adult main character to follow the plot to its satisfying conclusion.

Reviewer: Alice Berger