In the meantime, I've read the continuation of "Teacher, Teacher!", the review for which you can find here.
Again, Jack Sheffield has managed to recreate a world that does not exist any longer, even though it is not in a very distant past, but actually still quite fresh in my - and probably many other people's - memory: the years 1978 and 1979.
In "Mister Teacher", we accompany Jack Sheffield (and many of the characters we already met in the first book of the series) through his second year as headmaster of a small school in a Yorkshire village. There are new children at the school, and we get to know some of the people from the village a bit better.
Jack's relationship with Beth evolves and undergoes several changes; he now meets her sister for the first time, and she provides some interesting scenes in the book.
Just as before, the story is sprinkled with bits and bobs typical for the time in which it is set, making no doubt for some nostalgic moments for British readers, and giving some formerly unknown information to anyone who did not grow up in England.
One such example is about money:
"I can't get used to these new smaller pound notes, Mr. Sheffield; they're like Monopoly money," said Vera. "The way things are going, they'll have pound coins next." She chuckled to herself at the absurdity of the idea.A newspaper headline "Bearded Bobbies" is mentioned; in the article, which the staff of the village school share during a break in the staff room, a Police Superintendent complains about 8 per cent of all policemen now wearing beards:
"What was his name again, Vera?" asked Anne.Here is one last quote for this review, to show you how well the author manages - in my opinion, that is - to convey the general atmosphere of the place without being lengthy:
"Harry Potter", said Vera.
"Well, that's a name we won't hear again, said Sally defiantly.
The journey along the narrow lanes to Ragley was always a joy in summer. The cow parsley stood tall over the wild grasses, while the magenta bells of foxgloves competed for attention in the midst of unfurling bracken. Red Admiral butterflies danced among the nettles and the young tendrils of ivy invaded the dense quickthorn hedges.Throughout this series, the author shows a remarkable eye for detail; he has obviously done thorough research to get the facts right even about things that do not promote the story line as such. For instance, he mentions that a girl brings her Tressy doll to school and shows it to the other girls at play time. Of course I went and had a look at what Tressy dolls were like, and found this page. Other things I did not have to look up, because I remember them well enough from 1978 and 1979, when I was 10 and 11 years old.
The third instalment of the "Teacher"-series is waiting on my shelf. After that, I will have read them all; I know the 7th book has just come out (you can read about it here), and maybe I'll get it from my mother-in-law when I'll be in Yorkshire in July.