This funny, sad, irreverent, hopeful, painfully honest, and personal recounting of a rookie teacher’s experience with students with problems, attitudes, and needs enrolled in a non-traditional high school program should be required reading for all beginning teachers and experienced educators. Once you start reading, you won’t put it down until you finish…it will hold you attention!

Powell vividly illustrates that young people have feelings, needs and they deserve the very best from their teachers. They are not losers, they will respond to opportunity, take initiative, learn to adapt and can succeed. Nonconformity, ingenuity, patience, and respect in teaching is clearly illustrated here.

Dr. James E. Christiansen, Texas A&M University

It will not take many pages of reading The Hog Farm Chronicles to know that Allen Powell knows kids. What unfolds in this short and delightful book is the story of a rookie teacher learning from a group of kids about the mutuality of respect. As he learns to respect them for their heroic struggles to be themselves in a system that doesn’t fit, Allen’s respect for them results in their respect for them, and when you have theirs, they’ll die for you!

This book is an important one, though it may not appear so at first. It is important for educators because it clearly shows that the ‘normal’ mold of schools will not work for all young people.

For anyone who has shared a classroom with a motley bunch of kids and grown to love them in spite of the challenges, you’ll enjoy every unfolding story. This book contains truth, something often rare in the halls of education. Get it and enjoy your journey with Allen and his Hogs!

Dr. Don Wells, Duke University

With candid wit and humor, Allen Powell dares to bring to print his touching and wild experience as a rookie teacher. Refreshing and real, we laughed as Allen tells story after story with awesome expression and care for young boys struggling with life on life’s terms. We are not alone with our trials and struggles as youth, and there’s a little bit of ‘Hog Behavior’ in every soul! We hope educators and parents will give themselves the gift of Allen’s Hog Farm Chronicles. Thank you, Allen, for sharing your heart-felt, uplifting, and rip-roaring journey.

Kate & John

Educators will enjoy this amazing and insightful revisit to their early years as teachers. You’ll smile and laugh out loud at Allen’s recounting of his challenging and daunting days on the ‘Hog Farm.’ You’ll enjoy seeing through the eyes of a caring and special educator while being reminded that the business of teaching young people requires a unique blend of compassion, initiative, and joy.

Myra C. Heath, Educator

Allen Powell’s Hog Farm Chronicles is without a doubt the most humorous and entertaining book I’ve read in many, many years. It is a “must read” for anyone ever involved in working with young people, particularly in education.  BE WARNED: You’ll laugh until you cry… I did and ruined a new pair of contacts.

David Cox, PhD family and youth counselor Spartanburg, SC

I laughed, cried, and learned precious lessons in “Hog Wisdom”! Allen’s real stories are the most heart-lifting I’ve ever read. I recommend it to anyone who has ever set foot in the classroom.

Sissy Henry, Exec. Dir. Georgia School Boards Assn.

Allen is a natural story-teller and the Hog Farm Chronicles, a masterpiece. His hard-learned lessons in “Hog Wisdom” should be part of every teacher’ survival training!

Barb Orwig, Pres. & Pub. Career Comm., Inc.

This book will lift you up. It’s a source of joy and hope for anyone working with young people today.

Joan Baraloto, Educ. Dir. USA Today

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