Part I: Pages 1 through 20
• Esme Codell, at age 24, has begun work at a new public school under Mr. Turner.
• For now, Codell must tolerate mundane administrative tasks instead of teaching.
• Mr. Turner is vain and insufferable, and Codell frequently butts heads with him.
• Codell's proposal for a "Fairy Tale Festival" is met with derision from the administrative bureaucracy.
• Codell's teaching mentor was Ismene Siteles, a stern but supportive teacher who recently died.
Part I: Pages 20 through 45
• Codell begins her first day as a fifth-grade teacher at the new school.
• The large majority of her students are black, with five Mexicans, one Pakistani, and one Philippina.
• Codell institutes several innovative teaching methods, like making a "Trouble Basket" for kids to put their troubles in, and calling Math "Puzzling" so kids aren't intimidated by the subject.
• A Columbus comic book is stolen, but is soon anonymously returned.
• Codell is horrified...
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