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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Mr. Wackenteach Teaches Sixth Grade: The Wackenteach Series, Volume 6 by JCM is an educational adventure novel for children. Yes, summer is nearly over, and the Specialists are feeling decidedly mixed emotions over the prospect of their last year at Pagic Elementary. They're excited to be finishing elementary school and wonder about going on to middle school the following year, but the thought of leaving Pagic -- and Mr. Wackenteach -- behind is something they don't feel all that good about. It's been a strange summer. Mr. Wackenteach was hard at work preparing their sixth grade classroom and the Specialists, as well as their moms and dads, were bursting with curiosity about their room and the changes he was making to it. Every so often, Mr. Wackenteach would write them a letter and tell them they could come and see the room on a certain day and at a special time. Each time, however, the assembled Specialists and their parents would be met with a closed and locked door and a note that said their teacher had changed his mind. There had even been one occasion when Mr. Wackenteach had secretly arranged with the parents to have an aquatic warfare battle outside that sixth grade classroom. But now, it was the evening before the school year began, and the Specialists knew that once their heads hit their pillows, they'd wake up to the first day of school and be waking up Mr. Wackenteach once again.
I must confess that I shared many of those same emotions felt by the Specialists as they anticipated their sixth grade year. I was excited to finally be reading Mr. Wackenteach Teaches Sixth Grade: The Wackenteach Series, Volume 6, and to discover the secret to this most impressive and magical series. Yet knowing it was the last book gave the excitement a nostalgic and poignant tone. Having traveled through the seven years of instruction at Pagic Elementary along with those most remarkable Specialists was a profoundly magical, funny and illuminating experience.
Many readers, especially the younger ones, will get the gist of this series, seeing themselves as Specialists and realizing that the spirit of Mr. Wackenteach lives in their own teachers at every level of school. Adult readers whose educational experiences were perhaps not so inspiring get a second chance, as it were, to experience becoming and being Special under the sometimes strict but always caring gaze of Mr. Wackenteach. Volume Six is a marvelous reading experience and a fitting capstone to this imaginative and exciting educational adventure series. Mr. Wackenteach Teaches Sixth Grade: The Wackenteach Series, Volume 6 is most highly recommended for children, educators at all levels of the academic process, parents, and the young-at-heart.