Story Time by Edward Bloor.
Harcourt, Inc: NY, 2004.

I see Story Time as a satire of the Leave No Child Behind Act-the foundation being mandatory testing. In this story, the Whittaker Magnet School proudly proclaims its high testing status. The head of the school, Dr. Austin, is wrangling for a national committee position based on the scores. Two factors lead to these scores. 1)With the help of the King's County Commission, the school's district encompasses whatever houses (or students) the head of the school wishes, picking the better students in the county. 2)The students' classes consist of standardized tests in each class, every day. They do a test, and then discuss the answers.

With the First Lady of the U.S. coming for a visit, chaos erupts as an increased number of incidences occurs due to ghosts within the old Whittaker Library Building-the location of the school. Not only does this make the administers look like fools, but it also makes it impossible to continue hiding the weird deaths that have been happening.

I enjoyed the concept of the story based around the school. Also, the two main characters, Kate and George, are strong, with George benefiting from the school and Kate looking for a reason to transfer back to her old school. They both are at the center of the events and are instrumental in solving the mysteries surrounding the school. I'm not sure how I feel about the ghost/demon part of the story. It's odd, but somehow works in the end.

related-schools, standardized tests, education, ghosts, murder mystery

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