Rafe Esquith is an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. I gave a copy of this book to every one of my staff members - even though we are a high school. They loved it.
The book is fun to read. Rafe is NOT your typical teacher...he alienated his student teaching advisors, was asked to leave various positons, and took awhile to find a school that "got him" and allowed his out-of-the-box style to take hold and flourish. What I enjoy the most about his work with his kids is the manner in which he sets very high expectations and the methods he uses to lead his students to a LOVE FOR READING.
Without being preachy, or overly-intellectual in his writing, he will actually motivate teachers to re-visit the overall importance of teaching reading across the curriculum, as well as re-ignite their desire to teach reading from a Teacher-As-Role-Model perspective.
This is a perfect book for a start of year book study...it's light enough to be an "easy read" for time-contrained staff, but also humorous and tremendously inspirational. I use the book with new teachers to be sure they understand that I expect them to include the teaching of reading no matter what their assigned subject.
Rafe Esquith, There Are No Shortcuts, Knopf Pub Grp, 2004