By Suzanne Greenberg
Paperback | $15
eBook | $7.99
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A TOUCHING AND ORIGINAL STORY OF THREE HOMESCHOOLING FAMILIES
Lesson Plans chronicles the lives of three California families who have chosen to homeschool for different, deeply personal reasons. Suzanne Greenberg weaves her tale through the alternating perspectives of five intertwining characters. Patterson is a straight-laced insurance adjuster who has recently discovered both surfing and God and convinces his wife to homeschool their rambunctious twins. David is a liberal stay-at-home dad who feels stuck in suburbia and throws his energy into homeschooling his three “ducklings.” Wedding photographer Keith has just separated from Beth, a full-time mom struggling to manage her own private chaos. And there’s Jennifer, Keith and Beth’s precocious daughter, who copes with severe allergies and doesn’t understand why she’s not attending school and seeing friends like she used to.
Will homeschooling provide balance and harmony for these families? Or will it bring unforeseen challenges and stress?
In this captivating and funny debut novel, Suzanne Greenberg looks at the choices parents profess to make on behalf of their children, as well as the unpredictable ways in which new relationships can change our lives.
Suzanne Greenberg is the author of the award-winning Speed-Walk and Other Stories, which won the 2003 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. She is the co-author of two novels for children, Abigail Iris: The One and Only and Abigail Iris: The Pet Project, as well as the book Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, and has published her fiction, creative essays, and poetry in a number of publications. Suzanne is also a professor of creative writing at California State University, Long Beach. Learn more at suzannegreenberg.com
Editor’s Pick, Library Journal
Reader’s Digest “Great Books from Small Presses That Are Worth Your Time”
“Told from alternating viewpoints, Greenberg’s first novel is a witty and humorous character study that passes judgment on the homeschooling population. The resulting polemic reveals a reactionary opinion and narrow understanding of this growing movement in the U.S. While potentially offensive to homeschoolers, this pontifical narrative may appeal to some of them as well as to fans of biting satires.”
—Cortney Ophoff, Booklist
“Greenberg’s witty and insightful debut novel takes us into the world of three California homeschooling families who find themselves in for a few surprises.”
“Readers who enjoyed Tom Perotta’s Little Children will want to try Suzanne Greenberg’s Lesson Plans, an entertaining, funny, and thoughtful debut novel.”
— Wilda Williams, Library Journal
“Lesson Plans shines a light on the esoteric world of homeschoolers in this humorous and heartbreaking novel. I love reading debut novels and I thoroughly enjoyed Lesson Plans! Suzanne Greenberg’s novel is set in Southern California and focuses on the misadventures of three homeschooling families. Seven-year-old Jennifer, suffering from multiple food allergies and asthma, misses her first grade teacher and the familiar routine of public school. She was a character so real you will want to take Jennifer home with you. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Greenberg’s carefully interwoven tale excels at characterization, setting and plot. Highly recommended.”
— Mary Vernau, head librarian, Tyler Library, Tyler, Texas
“In her new novel Lesson Plans, Suzanne Greenberg brings her slyly humorous eye to a group of homeschoolers in Southern California. Following three families whose lives are unraveling, Greenberg lays bare the illusions and despair of these characters, their loneliness and longing for love. But she also shows us hope springing to life as reliably as vacant-lot weeds. Greenberg is an unapologetically honest writer, with a sharp eye for how easily any life can veer off course.”
—Cai Emmons, author of His Mother’s Son and The Stylist
“Lesson Plans is a complex, character-driven story written with clarity about the intersecting lives of ordinary parents, the choices they make, and the long-term effects of these choices on their children. Author Suzanne Greenberg mines the territory of Tom Perrotta with a fresh take on today’s suburban subcultures and entwined family relationships. Crafted with skill and depth, the characters stay with you long after the book ends.”
—Lian Dolan, author of LA Times bestsellers Elizabeth the First Wife and Helen of Pasadena
“All good parents want to protect their children from the perils of the world around them. Not all parents put their children’s needs before their own. Or find the balance between the two. A story set within the arcane world of homeschooling, Lesson Plans is rooted in place and time and misplaced love. There are no heroes or villains in Suzanne Greenberg’s heartbreaking tale of families torn asunder by the conflict of good intentions and desire.”
—Peggy Hesketh, author of Telling the Bees
“Reading Suzanne Greenberg’s Lesson Plans, I was schooled in the nuances of the human heart and privy to the most illuminating of chalkboards. Greenberg possesses a satirist’s wit and a realist’s sharp eye for details. Lesson Plans has everything: depth, humor, insight, a compelling, page-turning story, and deftly crafted, unforgettable characters. This is a brilliant debut novel, a completely engrossing look at contemporary suburban America.”
—Lisa Glatt, author of A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and The Apple’s Bruise