In Between Classes – A review of the novel ‘So What! Stories or Whatever!’

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well” – Alexander the Great

Any kid growing up spends the longest hours of his young life outside his own home in a school. So it’s no wonder schools are often referred to as second homes and teachers as sort of parental figures.And even though we experience a lot of rich emotions in our homes,nothing compares to the unique and special bond we make with our teachers. Numerous lovers and friends may enter and exit our lives, deaths and births we may see many but never shall we forget the one who opened the door to our minds, dispersing the shadows of ignorance with the light of knowledge.

Author G J Griffiths’s novel ‘So What! Stories or Whatever!’ is  an anthology of a lifetime of stories of a teacher and the many kids that made an impact in his life. It follows Mr. Robert Jeffrey, a high school science teacher and his experiences dealing with students who were as varied as it gets. Beginning with Robert trying to lay a foundation on which to base his teaching persona, we get to see the various methods he employs, the numerous day to day incidents he faced dealing with students that made up a normal school day and the positive impact he made in the student’s lives.

Even though So What! Stories or Whatever!deals with the story of a teacher and his students in an English school, it has a story that will find universal resonance wherever it is read. It is a story that has been told many times before but then which story isn’t, is there a love story, an action story, a life drama or a comedy in this world that you haven’t heard before? And yet we like them and listen to and read every new story in that genre because certain stories are like that, it appeals to us at a basic emotional level we cannot ignore because these stories, like the one you will find in this book tug at your heart and not your head.Another attractive quality about the book is the guaranteed connection you will feel with the various characters and the events described in the book. You will find in the book traces of your old self and the various people you knew back in school, you will read about things that your friends and you did and you will also get to see the teachers that made an impact in your life.

G J Griffiths has a very simple and yet effective way of narrating his story and has created the perfect alter ego in Robert Jeffrey.And you can sense that it is perhaps the author himself, reliving his teaching days and the moments he spent amongst students like these. Another thing that I liked was how he dealt with the issue of bullying, everyone must have faced it one time or the other while in school and whether you were a perpetrator or a victim, you will find the conclusion drawn in the story to be very apt and just.

For the realistic portrayal of the school atmosphere and the laughs and tears that the author hands out in equal measure, I recommend this book and look forward to its sequel.

Product Details

Print Length: 373 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484987101

Publisher: Create Space/G J Griffiths; 1 edition (December 30, 2013)


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