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She bullied, bluffed, and bribed her students into caring about school. And if that didn't work, the pretty, petite ex-marine told them she'd been trained to kill with her bare hands. They were called the class from Hell-thirty-four inner city sophomores she inherited from a teacher who'd been "pushed over the edge." She was told "those kids have tasted blood. They're danger She bullied, bluffed, and bribed her students into caring about school. And if that didn't work, the pretty, petite ex-marine told them she'd been trained to kill with her bare hands. They were called the class from Hell-thirty-four inner city sophomores she inherited from a teacher who'd been "pushed over the edge." She was told "those kids have tasted blood. They're dangerous." But LouAnne Johnson had a different idea. Where the school system saw thirty-four unreachable kids, she saw young men and women with intelligence and dreams. When others gave up on them, she broke the rules to give them the best things a teacher can give-hope and belief in themselves. When statistics showed the chances were they'd never graduate, she fought to beat the odds. This is her remarkable story-and theirs. If you loved Stand and Deliver, you'll stand up and cheer for LouAnne Johnson and Dangerous Minds.


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She bullied, bluffed, and bribed her students into caring about school. And if that didn't work, the pretty, petite ex-marine told them she'd been trained to kill with her bare hands. They were called the class from Hell-thirty-four inner city sophomores she inherited from a teacher who'd been "pushed over the edge." She was told "those kids have tasted blood. They're danger She bullied, bluffed, and bribed her students into caring about school. And if that didn't work, the pretty, petite ex-marine told them she'd been trained to kill with her bare hands. They were called the class from Hell-thirty-four inner city sophomores she inherited from a teacher who'd been "pushed over the edge." She was told "those kids have tasted blood. They're dangerous." But LouAnne Johnson had a different idea. Where the school system saw thirty-four unreachable kids, she saw young men and women with intelligence and dreams. When others gave up on them, she broke the rules to give them the best things a teacher can give-hope and belief in themselves. When statistics showed the chances were they'd never graduate, she fought to beat the odds. This is her remarkable story-and theirs. If you loved Stand and Deliver, you'll stand up and cheer for LouAnne Johnson and Dangerous Minds.

30 review for Dangerous Minds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    The Magical Teacher Narrative is the belief that you don't have to change a students home life, their socioeconomic status, or their history. All you have to do is put a great teacher in front of them and they will succeed. Its a common narrative in the media. Don't give schools more money just find a teacher (usually white) who is willing to give up their whole life for their students and they will all go to college. Problem solved! My Posse Don't Do Homework is probably more well known for the The Magical Teacher Narrative is the belief that you don't have to change a students home life, their socioeconomic status, or their history. All you have to do is put a great teacher in front of them and they will succeed. Its a common narrative in the media. Don't give schools more money just find a teacher (usually white) who is willing to give up their whole life for their students and they will all go to college. Problem solved! My Posse Don't Do Homework is probably more well known for the movie it inspired Dangerous Minds. Michelle Pfeiffer stars as LouAnne Johnson a tough ex marine turned teacher in an inner city school. I've seen the movie(its fine) but for me the best thing about Dangerous Minds is the song Gangsters Paradise by Coolio(of all people) that song still slaps. I hated this book. Its a 1 star read but I love Gangster's Paradise so I added a star. From reading rave reviews of this book I've realized I'm not the target audience for this book. White people love this book and think LouAnne Johnson was a great teacher......But nah son nah. I realize this book took place a long time ago and its clear things have changed but some things were never okay. Like... Calling LatinX students her "Spanish babies" NO NO NO NO Like.. Taking a male student out on a dinner by candlelight(just the 2 of them) NOOOOOO!!!! Like... Wondering why students whose parents work 2,3,4 jobs might not be able to help with homework or come to parent/teacher conferences. Bitch!!!! Really. This book is a perfect example of what's wrong with the American education system. If you don't understand what kids are going through culturally and at home then you can actually help them. She didn't teacher her students, she admits that students got A's in her class but D's & F's in every other class. A few students saw improvement overall but she admits that they had stable home lives. She was an English teacher who didn't grade based on spelling, grammar or the length of the essay. Which is fine but ain't no(that's bad use of grammar) other teachers gonna grade like that. They definitely won't do that in college. So....what are we doing? I hate this book and I'm happy that my father made enough money to send me and my sister to predominantly white private school. But most Black and Brown kids don't have that luxury. A good education shouldn't be based on your zip code or your ethnicity. Every kid should be given a fighting chance at a good education. Education determines a lot of things in a persons life and more times than not poor mostly Black and Brown kids get the short end of the stick. And it pisses me off when somebody writes a book patting themselves on the back for working in an inner city school (btw most new teachers are forced to teacher in inner city or lower income school districts). One teacher won't change the education system but money and policy changes will.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    I decided to read this book after hearing an interview with Johnson on NPR’s This American Life. Johnson said her teaching experience wasn’t much like Michelle Pfeiffer’s teaching experience in Dangerous Minds, the movie inspired by Johnson’s book. She also said she returned, uncashed, the royalty check from the Dangerous Minds television show, a weekly drama inspired by the movie. Johnson didn’t want anything to do with it. And no wonder: The book is unlike the movie and the television show. In I decided to read this book after hearing an interview with Johnson on NPR’s This American Life. Johnson said her teaching experience wasn’t much like Michelle Pfeiffer’s teaching experience in Dangerous Minds, the movie inspired by Johnson’s book. She also said she returned, uncashed, the royalty check from the Dangerous Minds television show, a weekly drama inspired by the movie. Johnson didn’t want anything to do with it. And no wonder: The book is unlike the movie and the television show. In the book, Johnson never has her life threatened by a student. She never hosts a school fundraiser at a strip club. She teaches an Honors program for gifted students who have some of the academic struggles and behavior challenges depicted on the small and big screens, but not to the same degree. Most pointedly, at one point in the book, Johnson directly rejects the “teacher as savior” narrative that made the movie and television show so successful. When her colleague Bud criticizes her grading methods and then proceeds to glorify the time he spent working at a “dilapidated high school in the poorest section of the city” a few years prior, Johnson retorts, “Well, that was real white of you to go and help those poor little nigra and beaner heathen” (170). I appreciated Johnson’s commitment to plot. Because so much writing about teaching is reflective, I found it refreshing to read something driven by action. The first two pages of the book contain these two sentences: “I couldn’t concentrate. Raul Chacon was standing in the middle of the parking lot outside my classroom, shivering in the freezing rain” (3), and “I had intended to keep Raul after class and give him a stern lecture, but I ended up giving him a hundred dollars instead” (4). Johnson doles out information in tantalizing, heaping teaspoons. One way she does this is by collapsing series of three or four small actions into quick, efficient summaries that propel the scene. Examples: “He leaned forward, crossed his arms on his desktop, and looked me straight in the eye” (33); “Jason was still holding the pencil, frowning at the page. A few words had been scribbled, but most of the exercises remained undone” (83); “I asked with exaggerated politeness. He ignored me. I leaned down and spoke close to his ear” (77); “I stopped dead and bellowed at top volume. It felt great, so I flailed my armes and shook my head wildly, letting my lips blubber loosely” (39). In the same way one detail in an essay or story can be described by activating “three sensuous strokes,” a scene can gain momentum with three small actions. I also enjoyed Johnson’s intentional repetition when describing characters: “Mrs. Nichols cleared her throat and rearranged her necklace, three thick strands of braided silver rope” (18). Then, a page later: “Mrs. Nicols frowned and fingered her necklace” (19). Johnson uses the same kind of repetition in describing Troy Jones, a student with lightning bolts “shooting across his head” (77). A lengthier description: “His hair was cut close to his head, and a lightning bolt was shaved into the left side of his skull. Three tiny gemstones glittered on his left earlobe” (73). Then, a little later: “Troy Jones, complete with thunderbolts and earrings…” (85). Johnson refers to a hundred dollar bet she holds with one student four times in the first eleven pages, and then again at the very end of the book. On a practical level, repeating these salient details helped me keep track of the characters. Johnson taught four classes a day, and with so many of her classes full, I needed help keeping track of all the students.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I definitely enjoyed this book, but as I read I kept thinking "teachers can't do that now." Giving kids a ride home - definitely a no-no these days. Also interesting was the fact that she started off just teaching one class, later two, at most four. No mention of boyfriend or husband or friends outside of school - she was committed to those kids - reminds me of the old days when women were not allowed to teach after they got married. Still I enjoyed reading it. I definitely enjoyed this book, but as I read I kept thinking "teachers can't do that now." Giving kids a ride home - definitely a no-no these days. Also interesting was the fact that she started off just teaching one class, later two, at most four. No mention of boyfriend or husband or friends outside of school - she was committed to those kids - reminds me of the old days when women were not allowed to teach after they got married. Still I enjoyed reading it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dramapuppy

    This is one of those books that's just enjoyable to read. Every chapter is a different story, so you don't have to stress about an overall plot. The characters reoccur sometimes, but it doesn't matter if you've forgotten them. The writing is super readable, but there are still some quotable lines. The book just makes you happy. Some really upsetting things happen, but Johnson is always sure to follow them up with a heart-warming story of something turning out perfectly. It makes you feel like th This is one of those books that's just enjoyable to read. Every chapter is a different story, so you don't have to stress about an overall plot. The characters reoccur sometimes, but it doesn't matter if you've forgotten them. The writing is super readable, but there are still some quotable lines. The book just makes you happy. Some really upsetting things happen, but Johnson is always sure to follow them up with a heart-warming story of something turning out perfectly. It makes you feel like the education system isn't broken after all. I'm not sure how I actually feel about Johnson as a teacher, and I don't agree with a lot of the things she did, but this book isn't political. I just decided to sit back and read without judging her, and that was a lot more fun. This is a good book for the next time you've read too many depressing novels in a row.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rants and Bants

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *This'll be for both this book and the next one (The Girls In The Back of the Classroom) I decided to check out the books My Posse Don’t Do Homework and The Girls in the Back of the Classroom by Louanne Johnson after having seen the movie Dangerous Minds. Those are the books it’s loosely based off of. These books are very raw. They’re nonfiction (where as the movie is fiction), written by Louanne Johnson herself, a school teacher in California. She's pretty admirable, because I know I could never *This'll be for both this book and the next one (The Girls In The Back of the Classroom) I decided to check out the books My Posse Don’t Do Homework and The Girls in the Back of the Classroom by Louanne Johnson after having seen the movie Dangerous Minds. Those are the books it’s loosely based off of. These books are very raw. They’re nonfiction (where as the movie is fiction), written by Louanne Johnson herself, a school teacher in California. She's pretty admirable, because I know I could never handle teaching a bunch of kids (I don’t like them very much). But she really helped out a lot of people. I like both equally, the movie and the book. As far as comparing and contrasting goes, the books are more personal, and definitely more authentic. They are more complex too. The movie follows the archetype of teacher comes in, inspires troubled students, ‘saves’ them, etc. Which I love, don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for those kind of films. I love Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me, etc. But in the book, it goes into more detail about Ms. Johnson’s life herself, especially in the second one. You get a painful taste of what it’s like to be a teacher who cares as much as her. Not all of it is happy endings. That’s obvious in the movie, but in the book, there are two situations. One with a boy named Attiba and another with a boy named Junior Advani. With Attiba, he just didn’t want help. And no matter how much you may want to help somebody, they have to be willing to help themselves. It takes two. You can’t do it if they continue to push you away. With Advani…at FIRST, I felt sympathy for him. Because I thought people were only judging him solely based on the way he looked. For having half his head shaved, for wearing Metallica shirts…you get the picture. I thought people were only judging him as being ‘Satanic’ because people like to stereotype based on the shallowest of reasons. However…as I started reading further into his story, I realized how crazy he really is. He held a knife to his mother’s throat. And all his father did was kick him out of the house for the night. When Ms. Johnson told his father he should see a counselor, he turned the suggestion down. And I was just like… ‘Your son held a knife to your wife’s throat…and you’re acting like it’s just no big deal? Wtf?!’ There were also several reports from kids saying he would chant Satanic things to them. There was even a girl who brought a knife to school—BROUGHT A KNIFE TO SCHOOL—risking expulsion just to protect herself, because she felt threatened by him. Basically this story ended with Ms. Johnson not being able to help him either because his father refused to cooperate, and the last time she saw Advani was in the hallway when he said, “Ms. Johnson, my favorite teacher!” Ms. Johnson said her blood ran cold, and there was seriously something wrong with that kid. This story was not only depressing, but a little scary actually. Two things in the second book (The Girls in the Back of the Classroom) that legitimately pissed me off (not the book itself, but certain situations and things people did): One, Mr. Lydecker, and how he got in NO trouble whatsoever for how he treated Emilio (not to mention other kids). It’s despicable how teachers can get away with anything, just because they’re adults, but students are the ones who always get in trouble. Emilio had to go to jail and miss graduation because he got physical with Mr. Lydecker? When Mr.—nope, I won’t even call him ‘Mr.’ When Lydecker is the one who started it? The dumb excuse for a man would verbally abuse kids, see Emilio and Emilio’s girlfriend walking down the hallway, and FLIRT WITH HER. That’s right, fucking FLIRT WITH HER. This is disgusting on so many levels. First off, she’s a high school student. You’re a high school teacher. If you’re a full-grown man, do not go up to a teenage girl and hit on her. You are the scum of the earth if you do that. Secondly, right in front of her boyfriend? Just because he’s a student you don’t like and you want to get to him? That’s way, way low. And the most horrible thing about the whole situation was that Lydecker got away with it COMPLETELY. And people wonder why teens rebel against adults??? The second thing in this book that enraged me was when the two girls, Maria and Isabella, got suspended I think? In some kind of trouble for…what? I’ll tell you what: NOTHING. They were ATTACKED in the girls’ bathroom by two other bitches, and Maria and Isabella were the VICTIMS. And yet, they got in trouble, for someone ATTACKING THEM. And they didn’t even fight back. Not that that would have been a bad thing, because they had every right to. But I can’t begin to comprehend how a school can have the power to suspend two innocent girls for doing NOTHING when they were the ones being attacked. Why don’t they go ahead and suspend anyone that’s been abused or raped at one point in their lives too, while they’re at it? This reminds me of how when I was in high school, my assistant principle said there was ‘no such thing as self-defense’. That has to be the most absurd, preposterous, LIE I’ve ever heard. I get so heated when schools deny us the right to self-defense, because here’s the thing. We live in a dangerous world. We live in a world where people will attack you, rape you, kill you, like no one’s business. This bullshit people believe that school is safer than anything else in the world is exactly that: bullshit. There are always deserted places in schools where no teacher, administrator, or grown-up in general is around, and EVEN IF they are…if someone’s crazy enough to attack someone else, do you honestly think they’ll care if they have witnesses? If they get caught? If you threaten them with expulsion? And don’t think that you can stop them either…you think that just because you’re a grown-up and they’re a teen, they can’t kick your ass? There are PLENTY of teenagers out there who are bigger and stronger than most adults, or if they have a gun or knife, it won’t even matter. If someone attacks me in a deserted area, I’m supposed to just sit there and let them do whatever the hell they want to me, because if I fight back to PROTECT myself, I’m going to get in trouble? What kind of masochistic BULLSHIT is that? How can you teach children and teens not to protect themselves when someone is hurting them? There’s ‘no such thing as self-defense’? Tell that to all the people out there who’ve been raped or kidnapped or have lost a loved one to cold-blooded murder. A couple criticisms: (I can't remember which book each one occurs in) There was a boy who would wear a black t-shirt with a skull on it, and for some reason, this was criticized. I'm not really sure why. I hope Louanne Johnson herself is above that kind of close-mindedness. For some reason, there are some adults out there that like to pick on every little thing a teen is wearing just because it isn't THEIR personal style. It's wrong. I don't go around picking at everything I see adults (especially teachers, who aren't even allowed to wear jeans for some reason) wearing, even though I don't like it. So I don't know what was up with that. There was a part where a non-white kid was talking about how he went up to a person (presumably white, I think) on the streets and asked if he could have their jacket. They gave it to him. Then he goes on to say that it was racism because the only reason the person did that was because they were afraid of him. ... That's not racism. That's someone being cautious because you are acting weird and suspicious toward them. They are perfectly within their rights, not to mention normal common sense, to be wary of you. No normal person just goes up to a random stranger and asks them for their hoodie or whatever. Maybe they were in a rough neighborhood. Maybe they wanted to avoid trouble. Maybe you were dressed like a thug. Get over it. It doesn't matter how "nice" you may have been about it, your clear intention was still to get something out of them. That does not make you the victim, it makes you a bully. Stop taking advantage of other people and then crying racism. That shit gets real old, real fast. There is also a brief part where some white students in the classroom are supposed to feel guilty about not caring what the minority students think about them-COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that it's because said minority students are constantly making racist remarks toward them, or just don't like them period because they're white. Why aren't the minority kids called out on this? Why is it always just the white people who should feel guilty about things? Especially when all they're doing is fighting back against kids in the class who are attacking them FIRST. Aside from all that, I would recommend this book to almost anyone, adults and teens alike. Probably not kids though, seeing as how it has older content and would probably not interest them anyway. It’s very touching, real, and I’d like to read it again. There’s always something to take away from work like this. I’d also like to check out Louanne Johnson’s other works.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian McHugh

    I enjoyed this book. It now sounds outdated, old fashioned in places - taking students for coffee, giving them lifts home in your car, saving them from arrest and not informing their parents. I liked Johnson's narrative arc and the way she does move away from the idea that teachers can solve all of the problems that their students face. That said, I thought the description of ex-colleagues was unprofessional in places and some of her methods unsustainable. I admire Johnson for her work and I wou I enjoyed this book. It now sounds outdated, old fashioned in places - taking students for coffee, giving them lifts home in your car, saving them from arrest and not informing their parents. I liked Johnson's narrative arc and the way she does move away from the idea that teachers can solve all of the problems that their students face. That said, I thought the description of ex-colleagues was unprofessional in places and some of her methods unsustainable. I admire Johnson for her work and I would like to know more about how her career progressed after the teaching role and then into the book/film/TV show. The book is not like the film (from what I remember) so I'd recommend it as much less saccharine and holy than the 'Hollywood ' version.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patrice

    This book is kind of a train wreck of sorts - but here's my review that I wrote for my M.A.T. program. Miss Johnson is a newly hired teacher set with the task of working in a difficult inner city school. I remember going to the movie theatre in middle school and watching “Dangerous Minds” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The book goes much more in depth into the curriculum, class room management style, and lives of children in Miss Johnson’s classes. I have to say that I was disturbed by some of the This book is kind of a train wreck of sorts - but here's my review that I wrote for my M.A.T. program. Miss Johnson is a newly hired teacher set with the task of working in a difficult inner city school. I remember going to the movie theatre in middle school and watching “Dangerous Minds” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The book goes much more in depth into the curriculum, class room management style, and lives of children in Miss Johnson’s classes. I have to say that I was disturbed by some of the techniques that Miss Johnson used in the classroom with her students. I know that the classes weren’t the easiest to manage but some approaches seemed imbalanced. There are traditional and non-traditional ways to approach decorum in a classroom. I was taken aback when Miss Johnson kissed a sleeping student on the cheek to wake him up and continued throughout her narrative to talk about how she would threaten to “kick her student’s asses”. An epic rant near the end of the book seemed the most off kilter, “I know you kids are angry,” I yelled, “because the world isn’t fair. Well, get over it, because it’s never going to be fair. The white boys have all the money and the power and that’s the way it is. And they aren’t going to give it up - to you or to me. And you can’t blame them for it because if you had it, you wouldn’t give it to them either.” (230). Miss Johnson is expressing truth to her class in the fact that our society is dominated by white men and a small percentage of people control the country’s wealth. Her approach to talking about this issue to her students seems inappropriate and biased. I believe that greedy people should be held accountable for their greed. I believe that change is possible and given the opportunity, means, and education that oppressed and impoverished people can rise above socioeconomic adversity to achieve greatness. In order to not completely be depressed with the state of the world - I have to believe in human kindness and the possibility that if wealth were distributed fairly that people would take better care of one another. I admired the way that Miss Johnson exposed her students to the work of Shakespeare, the field trip that she took some of her students on to Alcatraz, the way that she connected to parents through letters and home visits, the positive attitude she maintained, the respect she showed for her students (for the most part), and the incredible amount of hard work and commitment she displayed as an educator.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Kortesmaki

    Personal Response: I liked this book a lot. In some ways it was a comedy and in other ways it was serious. I also liked how it was a nonfictional book I don’t read a lot of those, but I liked this one. Summary: The book “Dangerous Minds” was written by Louanne Johnson. She wrote it about her teaching experiences. Miss Johnson was a teacher for troubled students. She taught a lot of different kinds of kids. She taught kids who didn’t care about anything that had to do with school and kids that did Personal Response: I liked this book a lot. In some ways it was a comedy and in other ways it was serious. I also liked how it was a nonfictional book I don’t read a lot of those, but I liked this one. Summary: The book “Dangerous Minds” was written by Louanne Johnson. She wrote it about her teaching experiences. Miss Johnson was a teacher for troubled students. She taught a lot of different kinds of kids. She taught kids who didn’t care about anything that had to do with school and kids that didn’t know anything about the English language. Miss Johnson did a lot for the kids that she taught. She broke a lot of rules and took a lot of risks. Her teaching methods were really original. She manipulated her student into doing their work, but not in a bad way. She did things like sent letters home about how much she enjoyed having that student in her class, even if they did cause trouble. That is just one of the many ways she got her students motivated to do their work. Miss Johnson took some of the students out to get away from their parents. A lot of students didn’t have a good life at home. She had an interesting grade scale as well. She told the kids that important things like spelling and grammar did not matter. It was her way of getting her students to contribute in class work and discussions. Miss Johnson was a great teacher, the kids actually learned something. Whether it has to do with something they were learning in school or something that they could use socially. Like being more independent or being able to express their feelings in multiple ways. Whatever challenge that Miss Johnson got somehow she figured it out. She got her students to want to learn. She taught kids how to read, write, and speak English. Miss Johnson got her students to want to succeed. Recommendations: I would recommend this book to any gender. It is not classified specifically to a male or female liking. The age recommendation would be 14 and up just because of the language that is used. Maturity level might be a higher level for this book also because of the language used and the situations that happen in the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Desiree Roe

    Dangerous Minds is a book about a teacher on a mission to not only better her students’ grades but their lives as well. She pushes them to their limits and makes them realize their potential. Luanne Johnson captures your attention, and her students keep the surprises coming with each new chapter. I recommend this book to a high school level reader, anyone younger might find it difficult to read, because they haven’t experienced life at a high school.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Riley D

    My Posse Don’t Do Homework By: LouAnne Johnson First of all Louanne Johnson did an amazing job of writing this and how she explains all of her stories is so good. This is my first book I have read of hers and I think she is an amazing writer. She makes it such a good book about a first year teacher with the other years following. The way she gets the kids in the story so connected to the reader is so amazing. It felt like I actually knew the high schoolers in this book. It is also like me having My Posse Don’t Do Homework By: LouAnne Johnson First of all Louanne Johnson did an amazing job of writing this and how she explains all of her stories is so good. This is my first book I have read of hers and I think she is an amazing writer. She makes it such a good book about a first year teacher with the other years following. The way she gets the kids in the story so connected to the reader is so amazing. It felt like I actually knew the high schoolers in this book. It is also like me having miss Johnson has a real teacher. Some of the thins LouAnne Johnson does is like she wrote the book herself and all of these happened to her in her career. She also explains what is happening in the story so good. She explains how each student acts in all of her classes and how she helps the students is amazing too. She gets them motivated by so many things it is amazing and how she acts to her new classes and her punishments if someone is messing around. When you read some of these parts in the book she will make your jaw drop when you finish a chapter or even the book. I one-hundred percent recommend this book to teenagers and adults. It is an amazing book and I did not see any flaws of the book. I think you should read it cause you can really connect to the kids and she really gives you a lot of details.These are just some reasons why I think you should read this great book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Watson

    What an inspiring novel! After watching the movie - repeatedly - I was inspired to read the book. How shocked and pleasantly surprised I was to realise how loosely the film is adaptated! This book provides so much more substance than the film, it's more real and raw. Some parts, however, I was disappointed particular events from the film didn't happen in the book - but knowing they didn't occur was a pleasant surprise (no spoilers). There were more focal characters and many more events in the bo What an inspiring novel! After watching the movie - repeatedly - I was inspired to read the book. How shocked and pleasantly surprised I was to realise how loosely the film is adaptated! This book provides so much more substance than the film, it's more real and raw. Some parts, however, I was disappointed particular events from the film didn't happen in the book - but knowing they didn't occur was a pleasant surprise (no spoilers). There were more focal characters and many more events in the book, it has made me respect LoAnne on a new level. A really engaging novel and a stream of enthralling chapters strung in a clever way! It makes you want to find out what happened to some students after they graduated. It really inspires you if you work with students, to focus on the ones you do help, and not be discouraged by the ones you cannot save. Also, her poignant philosophy of replacing words, where she used "I have to" being "choose", and "I can't" being "don't want to", this actually was enlightening for me! I will use this in my daily practice. Thanks for the great read. :-)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Must read! This is so much better than the movie that was created from the storyline. The only thing about the movie that was better was the story of Emilio. Gun violence in school was a major issue during the 1990's. I was a student then and it was always a topic among the students. Otherwise, this book is wonderful! A teacher that just wanted to help her students succeed and was constantly being challenged by the a bureaucratic educational system. The endless financial struggles to meet the nee Must read! This is so much better than the movie that was created from the storyline. The only thing about the movie that was better was the story of Emilio. Gun violence in school was a major issue during the 1990's. I was a student then and it was always a topic among the students. Otherwise, this book is wonderful! A teacher that just wanted to help her students succeed and was constantly being challenged by the a bureaucratic educational system. The endless financial struggles to meet the needs of students and the financial stress teachers take upon themselves. Lou Anne Johnson describes how emotionally trying it is to be a teacher. The stress of teaching them in ways they can relate to while meeting the criteria set by a school board that is completely out of touch with the reality the students live in. She speaks about challenges from parents who do not care about their children getting an education. How are teachers supposed to fight both the board of education and the parents? I cannot say enough about this book. Everyone must read this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    In My Posse Don’t Do Homework, LouAnne Johnson proves that persistent application of her unorthodox teaching methods drive the students of inner-city Parkmont High to succeed - at least for a small sample set. In an institution primed to shuffle delinquent and underachieving teens out the door, Johnson portrays herself as a righteous renegade, extending her reputation, time and money to cooperative students in need. In doing so, however, she repeatedly ignores the advice of her fellow faculty me In My Posse Don’t Do Homework, LouAnne Johnson proves that persistent application of her unorthodox teaching methods drive the students of inner-city Parkmont High to succeed - at least for a small sample set. In an institution primed to shuffle delinquent and underachieving teens out the door, Johnson portrays herself as a righteous renegade, extending her reputation, time and money to cooperative students in need. In doing so, however, she repeatedly ignores the advice of her fellow faculty members, whom she portrays as weathered and tired, if not simply inflexible. Though her entertaining account of her trying years at Parkmont conveys her as sincere and dedicated, it is also entirely one-sided and a bit too self-congratulatory.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Shields

    LouAnne Johnson is an inspiration. Getting the attention of all her students and moving them forward to critically think in this world is a chore in and of itself. Her situation is relevant today, and her willingness to put the outside world aside and provide a forum where students felt comfortable enough to open up about the socio-economic and emotional hardships of the way money divides social classes even in the education system made all the difference. Her methods did not follow the educatio LouAnne Johnson is an inspiration. Getting the attention of all her students and moving them forward to critically think in this world is a chore in and of itself. Her situation is relevant today, and her willingness to put the outside world aside and provide a forum where students felt comfortable enough to open up about the socio-economic and emotional hardships of the way money divides social classes even in the education system made all the difference. Her methods did not follow the educational theories all teachers must study but simply proves that theory versus reality is vastly different.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Agatha

    The book is about Miss Johnson’s account of teaching inner-city kids. She clearly has had success because of her dedication and belief in her students. The problem I had with them storytelling is that it felt very disjointed. Every chapter felt like another short story. The style did not allow me to connect with the students in any way, nor did it allow the relationship between student and teacher expand.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    She lost my attention when she threatened a student's life. This book may have been progressive for 1980-something, but it just wouldn't work for inner city kids today. Her heart is in the right place, but it seems like she thinks she's a saint. She comes across as a White savior. I read that she disliked the film because the directors picked up on those saintly undertones and went to the extreme with it. She lost my attention when she threatened a student's life. This book may have been progressive for 1980-something, but it just wouldn't work for inner city kids today. Her heart is in the right place, but it seems like she thinks she's a saint. She comes across as a White savior. I read that she disliked the film because the directors picked up on those saintly undertones and went to the extreme with it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erik Sapp

    I borrowed this book on a whim. I thought it sounded interested, but figured if it was bad, well, I'd only borrowed it. This book is amazing! I thought it would be one story, but is actually a collection of stories. Some students appear is multiple stories; some only one. But all of them are interesting. Some are uplifting; some are heartbreaking. I borrowed this book on a whim. I thought it sounded interested, but figured if it was bad, well, I'd only borrowed it. This book is amazing! I thought it would be one story, but is actually a collection of stories. Some students appear is multiple stories; some only one. But all of them are interesting. Some are uplifting; some are heartbreaking.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Merritt

    Great book and much better than the movie. At times in the movie, Ms. Johnson wasn't portrayed very well, IMO. In the book, she is a strong teacher who reinforces her principles constantly in the classroom. Great book and much better than the movie. At times in the movie, Ms. Johnson wasn't portrayed very well, IMO. In the book, she is a strong teacher who reinforces her principles constantly in the classroom.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Schouw

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dangerous Minds is by far one of my favorite books I've read in long time. It persuaded me quite easily and I was hooked since. To me, it is very interesting reading a story based on troubled students in high school who find a way to improve themselves for the greater good. Dangerous Minds is by far one of my favorite books I've read in long time. It persuaded me quite easily and I was hooked since. To me, it is very interesting reading a story based on troubled students in high school who find a way to improve themselves for the greater good.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    One of the most heart-warming books I’ve read in a long time. Not all teachers will understand Miss J’s abrasiveness or questionable language or “threats.” However, as a teacher in a school that sounds very much like the one in this book, it gave me more hope than I’ve had in a long time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sierra

    I found this on a shelf at this random cabin I was staying at and it really opened my eyes to the world. Definitely if you’re going to be a teacher I would recommend you read this. I really loved this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

    This has been such a heartwarming read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    True story of a dedicated teacher.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kiera Stone

    I wish I would have had a teacher like this. Stuff might have turned out differently. Either way this women is amazing. 👏🏻👏🏻

  25. 5 out of 5

    CekMoNSter

    I enjoyed this very much. Probably one of the books that need to be read by teachers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Good for teachers of students who resist following the rules of homework (as in...most teachers?). Though the publication date may make it seem irrelevant, Johnson's methods can still work! Good for teachers of students who resist following the rules of homework (as in...most teachers?). Though the publication date may make it seem irrelevant, Johnson's methods can still work!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    😳 I definitely couldn't teach those kids, that's for sure. The book was very well written and interesting. 😳 I definitely couldn't teach those kids, that's for sure. The book was very well written and interesting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I truly don't know how teachers do it. I truly don't know how teachers do it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    PurplyCookie

    Ms. Johnson took a chance by becoming a teacher at a run down, inner city school in west Los Angeles. Almost all of her students were troubled and underpriveleged. "You're about to step into a room full of hormone-crazed teenagers and ask them to commit unnatural acts like sit down, shut up, and listen to someone too old to be taken seriously." Throughout the course of the year, she began to change the way these students viewed school, and showed them the importance school will have on their futu Ms. Johnson took a chance by becoming a teacher at a run down, inner city school in west Los Angeles. Almost all of her students were troubled and underpriveleged. "You're about to step into a room full of hormone-crazed teenagers and ask them to commit unnatural acts like sit down, shut up, and listen to someone too old to be taken seriously." Throughout the course of the year, she began to change the way these students viewed school, and showed them the importance school will have on their futures. "I'm not going to walk into that classroom and expect my kids to fail. I expect them to learn." Individually, she connected with each of her students personally, and helped them when troubled, whether in, or out of school. A strong trust between the students and teacher was what made their relationship work well. Each student knew that Ms. Johnson was there for them, and that she would guide them along where ever they needed help. "What are you teaching, you may ask? You're teaching kids how to analyze information, relate it to other information they know, put it together and take it apart, and give it back to you in the form you request it. It doesn't matter what the class is, we all teach the same things. We just use different terms. And you're also teaching an optional agenda -- you're teaching your kids to believe in themselves. So don't worry about whether you're teaching grammar. You're teaching those kids. Trust me, you're teaching them." LouAnne Johnson was an excellent teacher, one whose attitude you don't see in teachers these days. I like how she showed her concern for her students she wrote about and how she helped them succeed. She helps them with their lives and gives them strength to brighten their future; she never gives up on her kids. Ms. Johnson teaches them things they never thought they could learn or do. She gives them hope in themselves. I recommend this book to all students and educators to read; it gives an inside look at how one teacher can truly make an impact on students' lives. This book went straight to my heart and I feel for all the characters. As I was reading the book I would be so involved with Ms. Johnson's school days that I wouldn't want to put the book down. I think this shows that there are good teachers out there, and students should give them a chance to teach and not take advantage of that opportunity. Book Details: Title Dangerous Minds (Previously published as "My Posse Don't Do Homework") Author LouAnne Johnson Reviewed By Purplycookie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Valeria

    In the book Dangerous Minds by Louanne Johnson, I saw a whole new perspective on how some teachers; view us students. The scene or story, takes place at a poor lonely low rated school. One word would describe that school, and it would be potential. Ms. Johnson recognized that, as soon as she spoke one word to the class. Several teachers experienced what she did, in a matter of seconds their one word, deadly. What could have made her stay there or was she just crazy? If I would have as much pote In the book Dangerous Minds by Louanne Johnson, I saw a whole new perspective on how some teachers; view us students. The scene or story, takes place at a poor lonely low rated school. One word would describe that school, and it would be potential. Ms. Johnson recognized that, as soon as she spoke one word to the class. Several teachers experienced what she did, in a matter of seconds their one word, deadly. What could have made her stay there or was she just crazy? If I would have as much potential as Ms. Johnson to teach, I would totally play it like she played it with her class at school. Though I wouldn't have thought of some of the things she did like kiss a boy in her class with red lipstick just because he was asleep. I like how she got respect by her students by just playing their own game with a twist of the rules. Though I would totally get scared like she did when she got a book thrown at her on the first day of class. She reminded me of me, I think she is pretty tuff and ready to take risks like completing the navy. This book, really got to the extremes and Louanne takes and deals in a calm matter on everything that her students cause. This woman, that used to train in the navy for a long time and has gone through thick and thin, decides to teach in this one school, gets called in one day and hired instantly. She at first got told so many stories about the class she was to teach and that she would not even last an hour. So many stories told that scared her and got her thinking. Though she never backed away from her fear and stepped in the class. She thought she had it coming and decided to play it tough. Though she never saw it coming, the way the students reacted. As the days go by and Louanne proofs that she can handle her class, she tries to get average students with potential and bad grades to at least pass class. She especially tries and gains trust of her students but will they or will they not?

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