This is probably the best non fiction book I've read this year. Comparing it to fiction is apples and oranges, but let's just say I'm planning to add this one to my library. It's a thin book, and I could not put it down. Neither could I stop reading passages aloud to Jacob. I would read a paragraph and then say "Okay, you've gotta hear this," and read it to him. Then I'd read the next paragraph and have to read that one aloud too. It's just excellent. Excellent writing, impressive powers of observation, compelling story.
Esme Raji Codell is a first year teacher at an elementary school in Chicago and between her fifth graders, her boss and the system, she has a lot to deal with. From the beginning, though, you know she can handle it. She's got guts and smarts and heart and sass.
Even if you're not interested in teaching like I am, you'll probably still like it. It's about more than teaching; it's about working hard and standing up for yourself and what's right. That said, swearing and serious issues aren't avoided in the book. I don't think Esme could avoid the issues if she tried. She's just like that.