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The Endearing Ones (Les attachants)

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Original Language: French | 192 pp. | August 2017

2 Seas represents: Dutch, Nordic, and North American rights.

FICTION

(Le Rouergue)

Acacias primary school is very much at the bottom of anyone’s wish list and yet this is where Emma is about to be appointed as a teacher. Her class of ten-year-olds breaks all the records for the sheer concentration of underprivileged kids per square metre. From September to June, we follow the daily routine of this young and committed teacher, complete with character sketches of her kids: the endearing ones. Then there are the encounters with the parents, who are often a bit lost themselves, sometimes touching, and sometimes indignant. It turns out to be a decisive year which converges towards a terrible episode which almost prompts Emma to give up the profession. Rachel Corenblit drew on her own experiences in writing this novel about the social deprivation in which certain French schools are mired. It is a political book in the best sense of the term: how far have we got with equality of opportunity in our schools?

Rachel Corenblit lives in Toulouse. She taught in primary schools and then became a teacher trainer. Today she is a primary school French teacher. She has written several novels for children and young adults, published by Le Rouergue and Actes Sud Junior, as well as her first novel for the “La brune” collection, Quarante tentatives pour trouver l’homme de sa vie (2015).