I'm looking for a book that was read at story time in 4th grade.
September 6, 2011 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to remember an elementary school book that had a teacher who gave his students an in class writing assignment about why life is worth living, but none of the students write an essay that is good enough for him, so he rides his motorcycle off a cliff the next day.

I remembered it out of the blue recently, and realized that the plot sounded way too dark for a grade school book, and I'm now interested in finding and rereading the book to find out how the author conveyed the suicide.
posted by weewooweewoo to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
You're probably thinking of The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, by Betsy Byars. Bingo's teacher gives his class a lot of strange writing assignments, the last one being how they would convince someone not to commit suicide. Shortly afterwards, his teacher goes out on his motorcycle without a helmet and crashes; he survives, but Bingo is convinced the "accident" was actually a suicide attempt and that it's the fault of him and his classmates that their teacher tried to kill himself. Bingo spends the rest of the book coming to terms with the situation, realising that his teacher's suicide attempt was due to his own problems and had nothing to do with anything that Bingo or his classmates wrote.

Even though the teacher survives, it is a pretty dark and hefty storyline for a kid's book.
posted by miss sarah thane at 5:03 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

Thank's muchly!
posted by weewooweewoo at 7:21 PM on September 6, 2011

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