I first encountered this book (after hearing "The Acorn People", one of the stories, on NPR. At the time I (a 26-year Navy veteran, and Vietnam Vet) was a middle school special ed teacher and found the damaged kids in Jones' stories, written from his own experience, spoke to me personally. I often shared some of these stories with my classes, which always resonated with my students, most of whom were less fragile than most of children with whom Jones' worked. "No Substitute for Madness" is an especially captivating, if not heart breaking, story. "The Third Wave" is an unforgettable tale of "just good teaching" that ran afoul of the school administration. "Winning" and "We Killed Them" are stories of simple love of the game and love of life such as grounds a reader in basic truths about kids and adults and teachers. Each of the other stories were comparably moving, comparably captivating. His story is one of teaching beyond the classroom. From the moment I bought my first copy of this book, I held it in my classroom, and even after I'd left special ed and the middle school for the high school English classroom, I aspired to engage the students in activity way beyond simple, rote, robotic progression through the litany of shallow learning. This book remains a permanent part of who I am and what I believe in.