Angie and Me by Sam Telpin

Angie and Me by Sam Telpin
Publisher: Shalchufa Books
Genre: Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Sam loves his home and social life but hates his new teacher, Ms Brown. She enjoys humiliating Sam and his friends (or, at least, he believes she does). After a classroom incident, Sam’s best friend, Angie, decides to take matters into her own hands. Angie knows it won’t be easy for her to get Ms Brown fired, but, whatever it takes, she’s determined to make it happen. Even if it means lying to adults, deceiving parents, bullying friends and stealing money from a charity. Sam has to reconcile his desire for Ms Brown’s downfall with his conscience as Angie hatches, reveals and executes her ruthless plan.

Justice can only be delayed for so long.

Even one year with an awful teacher can seriously damage a student’s self-esteem, grades, and interest in learning. I loved the way this book showed how all of these things can happen and why it’s so important to recruit kind and emotionally stable teachers who love spending time with kids and teaching them. Readers had plenty of opportunities to discover why Sam and his classmates disliked their teacher and why she should have never been hired to work in a school.

I found myself wishing for more descriptions in this book. For example, it was hard to imagine what the characters looked like because of how little time was spent on that topic. The settings were given more attention, but even some of them were difficult for me to picture in my mind as well. I would have happily gone with a higher rating if this hadn’t been the case as the storyline itself was humorous and memorable.

While I totally understood Sam’s anger about how terribly his teacher was treating him, I also found it interesting to see how his behavior affected someone whose patience for the typical antics of kids his age was already paper thin. His mischievousness could be disruptive in class, and he didn’t always listen the first time he was told to do something. This is in no way a defense of the horrible way Sam was treated, but it did show off memorable portions of both his personality and his teacher’s personality in ways that I don’t think either of them were necessarily aware of. It’s cool to discover stuff like that in stories, and it made me curious to check out more of the author’s work.

Angie and Me made this reader smile.