The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read – Book Review

the teacher who couldn't readI saw the title of this book and had to read it. How could someone become a teacher and not be able to read?

From start to finish I couldn’t put this book down. I became engrossed in John Corcoran’s life.

Although, I think it’s an awesome book, I have read lots of reviews about this book and for once I’m actually undecided as to why I think it’s awesome! You can see some reviews here on Goodreads.

If you read any of my reviews you’ll understand I never rate less than a 3. If I feel it’s below a 3 then I won’t review it, because that’s exactly the case … I feel it! It’s my personal belief. It takes time and effort to write a book, so just because I don’t particular like a story or an author’s way of writing, I don’t feel the need to criticise, but I can’t bring myself to put a false raving review on either. I usually don’t finish a book I’m not enjoying and it usually gets put into a charity bag 🙂

But this book had me a bit stumped! I thought it was well written (although someone reviewers have disagreed), I was unsure of how this could have happened … how could John get so far and fool people? I wanted to ask questions throughout the book, I wanted to find out more and I wanted to know how it ended … so with any other book it would get a 5* How could it not?

It probably should … but I’m undecided because I found it so unbelievable and sad.

Let me explain – If this book is true, then I have to give it a 5* because John has worked his way through the school system, college system and became a teacher! I’m assuming the students he taught passed their exams … otherwise wouldn’t it have been highlighted earlier. But in his book he describes how he had a system for remembering the students names because he couldn’t read their names, how he made sure they marked each other’s work and how he built up a library in his own head. My moral side says, he should have asked for help earlier. Although he believes it never felt the right time. A rollercoaster he couldn’t get off I suppose.

He didn’t actually learn to read until he was 48 years old, after being found out that he couldn’t even read a storybook to his child. It’s unbelievable and fascinating. If that makes sense, I want to believe it and because I don’t believe that someone could be so devious to write this book and it not be true, I have to believe it. Plus, he went on to help others when he set up the John Corcoran Foundation in 1997, ‘ he began to devote his life to freeing others from the enslavement of illiteracy and teaching anyone and everyone how to read’  – He can’t be faulted for that.

His life achievements have been amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I would recommend that anyone who is interested in literacy should give it a read. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of wanting to shout at him to tell someone but understanding why he didn’t. Finishing the book to ask, ‘Really? Unbelievably amazing!’

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