Saving Saddler Street

Lothian Takeaways, 2001
ISBN: 0 7344 0197 3

It seemed a weird coincidence that on the very day Sim had been thinking how old-fashioned the school was and how he'd learn faster and better at home on his computer, the news had come that the school would close. It was exactly like getting your wish granted, but with a little twist so that it wasn't exactly what you had in mind...

After 113 years, Saddler Street School is going to be closed down. Over the decades, it has welcomed and taught hundreds of migrant children, including Sam Papamanos in 1937 and Sim Van Lee in 1996. But does anyone really care about an old school? Sim discovers that many do, and he draws up a brave plan to save it.

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Excerpts from a review of Saving Saddler Street 
by Helen Purdie 
Taken from Australian Publisher & Bookseller, Oct. 2001

"Only a writer as gifted as Ruth Starke, author of the CBCA winner NIPS XI could make the reader care really deeply about the closing of a primary school...

"Sympathetically written and laced with reality, the book chronicles [the students'] efforts [to save their school]. The current trend towards 'cost-effective' education is exposed mercilessly and the scenes of the meetings with the minister are brilliant...

"Starke has a good ear for playground dialogue and the ability to infuse even sad events with humour - the school's final assembly is a gem."

- Helen Purdie is a reviewer, ex-teacher-librarian and lecturer in children's literature.

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