When Richard Gray moves his family to a new town he finds himself thrown in at the deep end as PTO president at his sons new school. Malliford is a ‘school of excellence’ but with redistricting the school is forced into taking less fortunate kids from the ‘apartments’ causing all kinds unrest amongst the parents and the staff who worry the test scores will suffer as a result. After witnessing some very disturbing incidents where staff were unnecessarily cruel to the new students Richard makes it his business to try and stop it, but in doing so he just makes himself and his son targets.
‘The Chain gang Elementary’ is not a quick read but it is a compelling one. I thought it was going to be solely about a parent teacher organisation but it was more than that. We were given insight into Richards troubled childhood and followed him through some very difficult times in his failing marriage. The story and the characters were more in-depth than I had expected. This was Richards story, and his character changed from humorous to frustrated to serious as the plot progressed and thickened.
Although I enjoyed Jonathan Grants writing style, I felt some of the story line was less than believable. The treatment of the students by some members of staff was horrific and the blatant disregard for the children’s safety, happiness and well-being would not happen in western society. That said I was still drawn into the story and needed to know what happened next!
This is a well written book with realistic characters and natural dialogue, there was some waffle that elongated the story and slowed the pace in parts but on the whole the tale moved along at a steady pace holding the readers attention to the last page and I enjoyed it.
Copy supplied for review. Thank you