Review: The Very Principled Maggie Mayfield by Kathy Cooperman

39859087Maggie Mayfield, an elementary school principal in the upscale suburbs of San Diego, likes to do the right thing—for her students and, after her marriage takes a hit, for herself as well. What’s wrong with that?

To keep her cash-strapped school afloat, Maggie says yes to a sweet deal from Silicon Valley’s hottest for-profit education company. They’ll provide enough funding so that Maggie can keep her science, art, and PE teachers in exchange for some dopey beta-test program backed by handsome CEO Danny Z. No layoffs! Happy kids!

Professionally, everything’s flourishing. Personally, the right things are tingling—Maggie can’t resist Danny Z’s magnetism. But as the school year continues, Maggie senses that she might have been duped. As things take a turn for the worse, Maggie and her BFF assistant, Diane, must keep things good—by going a little bad.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

Maggie Mayfield has only ever wanted the very best for her kids.  Over the long years of her tenure as principal of an elementary school, Maggie has helped hundreds and hundreds of children, seen the school’s fortunes rise and fall (mostly fall), and worked herself to exhaustion in an effort to keep the ship afloat. With every new school year come the cuts, the lessening of her student’s opportunities, and more guilt over not being able to provide adequately for her kids.

This year, however . . . . .

With a bit of luck and a great deal of campaigning, Maggie’s kids are going to have every opportunity, every beloved teacher, and all they must do in exchange is beta test a new Math program.  In exchange for just ten minutes a day, the school gets a huge influx of cash and enough stock to keep the school more than afloat for many, many years to come.  However, the payoff over the years is only going to come through if the Math program is a success and, from day one, Maggie has her doubts.

Maggie’s doubts only increase as she tests the program herself and begins to get some feedback from the kids.  The program is a huge bust, but Maggie is being pressured from above and below to make the program seem a success.  Her idiot boss is insistent on the use of the program and the program developer, the utterly irresistible Danny Z is willing to do anything to make the program a success.  While Maggie has her doubts, they are pushed aside as she and Danny Z become more than just colleagues.

For much of the school year, Maggie shoves her Math program concerns to the back of her mind as she deals with the day to day issues found in every elementary school and her smoking hot personal life.  Her kids are amazing (seriously, the Wong and Klemper girls!) and Danny Z is the kindest, sweetest man Maggie has ever met and she is able to ignore her misgivings right up to the moment her conscious will no longer allow the ignorance. 

The Bottom Line:  I liked this book through the first two-thirds and then, in the last third, I REALLY liked it.  For the most part, there isn’t anything new or exciting in the first part of this book, but the resolution is all kinds of crazy fun.  Maggie and her BFF are bold, a little crazy, and hell bent on doing what is right even if it means a most uncertain future for the two of them.  With a scheme, one faked-voice phone call, and a ridiculous exit plan the two women follow their conscious through to the very end.  With more than a few tears shed, some outrageous laughs, and their ducks all lined up in a row Maggie and her BFF end up in a place neither ever thought possible.  I think most will find this book, as I did, to be a light, easy read.  It has some fun moments, some sad moments, some good and bad characters, and makes for a fine weekend read.

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