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Cover image of the book I'm Sick of This Already

I'm Sick of This Already

Read an excerpt from I'm Sick of This Already >

“Howard is a graceful, spare, and fluid writer.”

─Publishers Weekly


It’s the first day of school at Stanton Central High. The teacher stands by the door as ready as she’s going to be. The 6B Improvement of Language Skills class bursts in: Neal, with a shaved head; Joe, wearing three earrings; Vance, in dark glasses and a heavy navy jacket, the same one he wore the few days he attended last year… plus the other fourteen. “I’m hungry”… “I hate English” … “I’m sick of this already.” And so the new year begins. We will be with them for two semesters and we will get to know them all. We’ll read their poems and journals. Be in on their muttered remarks and jokes. We’ll see what they put in their Time Capsules and hear what they have to say in their interviews. We’ll listen to their discussions as they watch Great Expectations. Many of us will come to care about all of them and be sad when some of them run away or get arrested or become pregnant. We’ll understand why this teacher is relieved when Stan and Mike are both absent on a subzero Monday in the middle of February. Lots of days, we’ll give her a gold star for her efforts.



* * *

“Wow. This is a terrific book by a woman who really knows at-risk high school students who are living "on the edge". And she knows how to write. The style is fresh, without jargon; you can't help turning pages. I found the book engrossing, with sharply drawn portraits of students who stayed on my mind. She does a marvelous job of creating the world of school, the rhythms of the classroom, the body language of students. …Howard knows her kids. She looks at them with deep, thoughtful, loving eyes. Readers will sense this from the first page.”

─Ralph Fletcher, author of
Walking Trees: Portraits of Teachers
and Children in the Cultures of Schools

* * *

“I LOVE THIS BOOK. I am attached to the characters—Howard makes them so real & accessible even in their inaccessibility. I root for them & I am reminded of all the inequities that life brings.”

─Kim Ilowit, worked with
remedial students in the Writing Center
at the State University at Oneonta.


I’m Sick of This Already has a place in training new teachers and reviving veteran teachers. The story is direct and true… This book gives us the stuff of schooling that cannot be noted in the data or hung in the trophy case by the gym.... We need to use this narrative as a point of departure for recognizing this population of school failures in our own communities, commiserating with a teacher who lived our lives, and finding our way to candid conversations about what life in public schools is like for everyone.”

─Rabia Anne Sandage, M.S. Ed,
a literacy specialist, Shelburne Middle School, Viriginia

* * *

I’m Sick of This Already gives a glimpse into a world that is still present for underprivileged students in areas where poverty is present. This teacher narrative would be an excellent tool to use in college classrooms, not only to identify “real” students, but also to open up dialog on ways to reach these struggling students effectively.”

─Martha Novak, M.A. in Special Education


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