Review Blog

Feb 04 2008

Teacher's dead by Benjamin Zephaniah

cover image

Bloomsbury Books, London, 2007
(Age 11+) When Jackson witnesses the murder of a teacher by two of the pupils at his school, his life becomes inextricably linked with that of the dead teacher's wife, and surprisingly, the killers. Refusing the counseling offered by the school, he decides that the best way he can deal with what he has seen is to ask questions, and try to work out why the boys took the extraordinary step of murder. He enlists the help of Mary Joseph, the dead man's wife, and goes to the houses of the two boys to ask questions. The reader will identify with his need, but be aware that he is stepping into territory where anything could happen.

An involving story of one boy's search for the truth, Teacher's dead is often uncomfortable as Jackson takes steps which take him to places where harm can and does befall him. Written by British poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, the story is poignant and enthralling as we follow Jackson's path to find the truth. A most realistic story set in the schoolyard against a background of bullying, violence and intimidation.
Fran Knight

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