Off To Class

Ages 8+

Off To Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World has just been published by Owlkids Press. I am so proud of it! Open the pages and you'll hear the voices of kids around the world, telling you about their dreams for an education. You'll see gorgeous colour photos that invite you into the children's worlds. You'll be amazed at the schools they attend and inspired by the dedicated people who helped create them.

Off To Class: received a starred review in September's Quill and Quire:
"Off to Class is an easy-to-read yet detailed book that should, at the very least, be in every school library, if not every classroom and home."

Owl Kids
978-1-926818-86-3


Reviews

"Photographs, accessible prose, and personal accounts paint a portrait of innovative schools in this vibrant, globe-trotting guide. In post-Katrina New Orleans, students plant an "edible schoolyard." In Kenya, a school provides dowries for fathers-in exchange, their daughters go to school for eight years, rather than marrying. Hughes's examples of grassroots education in action are inspirational and informative."
- Publisher's Weekly, September 2011

"Off to Class is an easy-to-read yet detailed book that should, at the very least, be in every school library, if not every classroom and home."
-Quill & Quire, starred review


Listen

Listen in as kids belong to the CBC Halifax Book Club ask me questions about Off to Class


Watch

Oh, and don't forget to view my first ever book trailer! It introduces my non-fiction book Off To Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World and was created by my 16-year-old daughter Georgia.

Here's a great photo of Yordy, at El Hogar, Honduras, holding a copy of OFF TO CLASS. Yordy was one of the many, many children who contributed in a big way to my book. He answered many questions about his life and his dreams for an education. I was thrilled to be able to include him, and his school, El Hogar, in OFF TO CLASS. Find out more about El Hogar orphanage and school at here.


Awards & Nominations

  • Winner of Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction, 2011
  • Junior Guild League choice, 2011
  • Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award for English Non-Fiction finalist 2011
  • Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, selected by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council (US) 2011
  • Utah Beehive Informational Book Award nominee, 2012

An Excerpt

When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don't picture caves, boats, or train platforms - but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There are green schools, mobile schools, and even treehouse schools. There's a whole world of unusual schools out there!

But the most amazing thing about these schools isn't their location or what they look like. It's that they provide a place for students who face some of the toughest environmental and cultural challenges, and live some of the most unique lifestyles, to learn. Education is not readily available for kids everywhere, and many communities are strapped for the resources that would make it easier for kids to go to school. In short, it's not always easy getting kids off to class - but people around the world are finding creative ways to do it.

In Off to Class, readers will travel to India, Burkina Faso, and Brazil; to Russia, China, Uganda, and a dozen other countries, to visit some of these incredible schools, and, through personal interviews conducted by author Susan Hughes, meet the students who attend them too. And their stories aren't just inspiring; they'll also get you to think about school and the world in a whole new way.