Official Review: Empty Desk by Janet Call

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Official Review: Empty Desk by Janet Call

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 05 Oct 2018, 02:18

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Empty Desk" by Janet Call.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Empty Desk is a poignant and inspiring book written by Janet Call.

It is the end of the school year and the last day of Ms. Deann Nelson in Horace Greeley High School. Sixty-one-year-old Ms. Nelson, affectionately known to her students as Nelly, is the quintessential high school English teacher. What she values more than perfect grammar, modern poetry, well-written research papers, and correct spelling, however, are the relationships she has built with her teenage students. She loves telling stories as much as listening to them, and high school students have stories of their own that could rival even the best literary classics.

As Nelly goes inside Room 203 for the last time to pack up her things, she reaches beneath her desk for a secret drawer expertly crafted by a former student a long time ago. The secret drawer is a reservoir of dozens of secrets that Nelly has kept through the years. Each item is a reminder of a particular student whose life has intersected with hers and among those students is the unforgettable and heroic Jordan Michaels, the most remarkable teenager she has ever met.

This is a touching, moving, and inspiring book about a teacher as she recalls the stories of her most memorable high school students. It is about love, friendship, courage, determination, kindness, poverty, indiscretion, vulnerability, manipulation, and prejudice. It is told in the third person perspective and while the book is centered on Nelly and her recollection, the story of Jordan Michaels is disclosed gradually in between chapters.

Every chapter features a particular student and the part Nelly played in his or her life. The stories vary from funny to appalling, dangerous, scary, and tragic. Regardless of the theme, every story is memorable and bears an important message and life-changing lesson. By giving Nelly diverse groups of students, the author is able to bring up the struggles of teenage immigrants and though the stories are mostly about the students, there are parts that portray both supportive and obstinate parents, dedicated teachers, and unreasonable administrators.

On one hand, the most important part of the book, for me, is the demonstration of the important role a teacher plays in the students’ lives. Being a teacher is more than a job, it is holding the power to effect change on the lives of other people. On the other hand, the part I like most is the unwavering determination depicted by Jordan Michaels. In this age and time when students are concerned in their social media status more than anything else, Jordan’s resolve to have a better life for himself and his mother is commendable.

Overall, this is a great book. It has a great plot and well-developed and endearing characters. If not for the noticeable errors which are mostly typos, I would have easily given it a perfect score.

I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is touching, moving, and inspiring. Though educators might enjoy this book most, I recommend it to everyone.

******
Empty Desk
View: on Bookshelves

Like kimmyschemy06's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Caylie_Cat
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 01:23
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-caylie-cat.html
Latest Review: A Police Action by A. A. Freda

Post by Caylie_Cat » 06 Oct 2018, 02:22

What a great review! Makes me want to read this book, for sure.

User avatar
Pegboard
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Feb 2016, 10:52
Favorite Book: The Lost Identity Casualties
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 4
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-pegboard.html
Latest Review: The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar

Post by Pegboard » 06 Oct 2018, 06:50

Your review is a tribute to teachers as you captured the essence of a great teacher. You make me think I would really enjoy reading this book and the investment this educator had in her pupils.

User avatar
stacie k
Posts: 843
Joined: 01 Feb 2018, 17:04
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 149
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stacie-k.html
Latest Review: Cry For Rain by Melineh Petrosian

Post by stacie k » 06 Oct 2018, 10:25

I enjoy stories about teachers and the impact they have on their students. I love the idea of the secret drawer with mementos of particular students. I’m curious about what makes Jordan Michaels so remarkable? I’d like to read this book!
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

User avatar
sonya01
Posts: 111
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 01:30
Currently Reading: McDowell
Bookshelf Size: 55
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sonya01.html
Latest Review: Undead Redhead by Jen Frankel

Post by sonya01 » 06 Oct 2018, 11:13

This sounds like an inspirational story, and I am very eager to read this book. What I like most is how Jordan's tale is interspersed between chapters and evolves slowly through stories of the other students. Pity about the editing flaws but I believe the book is still very worthy of a read. Thank you.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 06 Oct 2018, 20:30

Caylie_Cat wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 02:22
What a great review! Makes me want to read this book, for sure.
Thank you very much. It is a great book.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 06 Oct 2018, 20:31

Pegboard wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 06:50
Your review is a tribute to teachers as you captured the essence of a great teacher. You make me think I would really enjoy reading this book and the investment this educator had in her pupils.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you get a chance to read this book.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 06 Oct 2018, 20:32

stacie k wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 10:25
I enjoy stories about teachers and the impact they have on their students. I love the idea of the secret drawer with mementos of particular students. I’m curious about what makes Jordan Michaels so remarkable? I’d like to read this book!
I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 06 Oct 2018, 20:33

sonya01 wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 11:13
This sounds like an inspirational story, and I am very eager to read this book. What I like most is how Jordan's tale is interspersed between chapters and evolves slowly through stories of the other students. Pity about the editing flaws but I believe the book is still very worthy of a read. Thank you.
You're welcome. This is one great and enjoyable book despite the editing issues.

Noraine Alissa Poria
Posts: 220
Joined: 25 Aug 2018, 21:42
Currently Reading: Bro Code
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-noraine-alissa-poria.html
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley

Post by Noraine Alissa Poria » 07 Oct 2018, 01:12

Your review gave the right details to hook a reader. We always have that one teacher that we adore very much and I have a feeling that the protagonist is just one of those teacher.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 07 Oct 2018, 02:51

Noraine Alissa Poria wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 01:12
Your review gave the right details to hook a reader. We always have that one teacher that we adore very much and I have a feeling that the protagonist is just one of those teacher.
Thank you. Yes, she is. I think you're going to enjoy this book.

User avatar
Swiftmover07
Posts: 170
Joined: 28 Feb 2016, 23:54
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Bookshelf Size: 81
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-swiftmover07.html
Latest Review: Audible Book of your Choice by Amazon

Post by Swiftmover07 » 07 Oct 2018, 03:59

This seems like the kind of feel-good book everyone needs. Like when you have a had a rough day and just need something to pick you back up you can just settle into this book with a nice cup of coffee.
Goodnight sweet prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest. - Anne Rice

User avatar
T_stone
Posts: 157
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 22:08
2018 Reading Goal: 20
Currently Reading: Red Wave Imperative
Bookshelf Size: 45
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-t-stone.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by T_stone » 07 Oct 2018, 18:49

There is always that teacher that will be loved by many. An inspirational book I'd like to read. Nice review
Feeling upset sometimes may be unavoidable, but acting distressed is always optional.

Rob White

User avatar
Britty01
Posts: 445
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 11:04
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 148
Favorite Book: Will's Red Coat
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-britty01.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Britty01 » 07 Oct 2018, 19:09

I think I might enjoy this story about a retiring teacher and her memories about certain students she has known during her career. The secret drawer in the desk certainly has me intrigued. A teacher that truly makes a positive difference in a child's life is a rare gift indeed. Thanks for the very well-detailed review.

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2337
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: A New Vision
Bookshelf Size: 532
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 07 Oct 2018, 19:39

Swiftmover07 wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 03:59
This seems like the kind of feel-good book everyone needs. Like when you have a had a rough day and just need something to pick you back up you can just settle into this book with a nice cup of coffee.
A 'feel-good' book, indeed. Thank you for taking the time to read my review.

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”