Book Review: The Children in Room E4 American Education on Trial
Not long ago, Lois Luddy, who teaches at the Simpson-Waverly elementary school in Hartford, Connecticut, asked her third graders (all black and Hispanic) to write about what they’d find in a meteor crater in their backyards. They couldn’t do it. None of them knew what a meteor was, or a crater. Very few had backyards. They were full of questions, such as, “What would happen if Hartford were hit by a meteor?”
Luddy was too much of a professional to tell her kids that Hartford was hit by a meteor. The Children in Room E4 (on sale January 19) is a biting, disturbing, heartbreaking story of the crater left behind by decades of racism and economic segregation. Luddy is a great teacher and Eaton a superb reporter. You’d better read the book now, because it won’t be made into a movie. There’s no happy ending. After 18 years of courtroom battles to desegregate Hartford schools, they are more segregated than ever.