Debut Novel Exposes the Drama Inside America’s Schools Manos’s “Last Year of Life (in School)” Dramatizes the Dysfunctional Status of Public Education
This debut novel is a semi-autobiographical story told in a diary/epistolary format about teacher Ethan Miller during his last year of teaching. Teachers, school administrators, and parents, especially those who have children attending public schools, will be enthralled by My Last Year of Life (in School) and gain an understanding of the dramatic and sometimes disturbing events that happen in a public high school, emerging much like a popular reality television program since it also involves the issues and tragedies that educators confronted all over the country during the 2012-2013 school year, including the Chicago teachers’ strike, the Atlanta cheating scandal, and the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
Praise for My Last Year of Life (in School):
“Surprising and honest, Keith Manos gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a teacher’s last year in a school he once loved.” – Sarah Willis (author of Some Things That Stay and A Good Distance)
“I could really relate to the characters and events in Keith’s novel. It was almost like he was describing my own school day. As I read, I found myself at times nodding my head, laughing out loud, or sighing with concern. I’m starting to wonder what my last year of teaching will be like.” [Sarah Kelly – Special Education teacher, Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy, Chicago, Illinois]
“The truth is out. Ethan Miller (Manos’s alter ego in the classroom) exposes what a typical public school teacher deals with on a daily basis. I am a retired teacher with 30 years experience in the classroom and could identify with every page. Most people hear stories about the public school classroom and sympathize with teachers but to read it page after page makes the truth almost too real. This is a must read for any administrator, parent, and teacher. My Last Year of Life would be an interesting text in an education class to analyze Ethan Miller’s handling of the many conflicts and to discuss alternate actions or agree on what he decided to do in the heat of the moment. I laughed, I shook my head in frustration and understanding, and I cried at the end (almost).” [John Korhlrieser – retired math teacher, Fairfax County Schools, VA]
“I really enjoyed reading Keith’s novel, and I think it’s gutsy of him to portray a public school teacher’s daily life as it truly is. My Last Year of Life (in School) shows what’s sad, what’s funny, and what’s tragic about teaching today, and I wonder how many other schools across this country are like Ethan Miller’s Bayview High School.” [Andrea Manes – retired science teacher, Richmond Heights Secondary School, OH]
As a result of its introspective tone and unique exploration of a teacher’s plight in today’s teaching climate, anyone wishing to be a part of the national conversation regarding education in America will connect with Keith Manos’ book, My Last Year of Life (in School). This book positions its readers to observe the skill and grit needed to excel as a teacher. In addition, it leaves all parents, educators, and citizens with a burning question: Am I paying enough attention to the schools in my community? [J.D. Uebler – Culver Academies, Senior instructor and Humanities Department Chair]