Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall

Teaching is a tough profession, no question. And that’s without factoring in uncooperative or downright disruptive students. In Miss Nelson Is Missing!, we are introduced to the kids in Room 207, who are the worst-behaved at school, resulting in their sweet-natured teacher, Miss Nelson, being at her wits’ end.

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Then one morning, Miss Nelson mysteriously doesn’t show up for work; instead, Miss Viola Swamp, an awfully scary substitute teacher, comes into class and makes the children regret taking Miss Nelson for granted.

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Eventually, Miss Nelson returns to class, to the great relief of her now-reformed students, while Miss Viola Swamp is never seen again. Miss Nelson never explains her disappearance, but inside her closet hangs a suspiciously familiar shapeless black dress…

Although this book was first published in 1977, school-going children will still identify easily with this timeless story of a long-suffering teacher and her misbehaving students, while the little twist will be appreciated by slightly older kids. It’s also a good lesson not to take the people who are nice to us for granted.

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