Top Ten Tuesday: Teachers in Fiction

Posted August 30, 2016 by meezcarrie in Andrea Boeshaar, contemporary, Cynthia Ruchti, Deeanne Gist, Erica Vetsch, historical, Janette Oke, Jean C. Gordon, Jody Hedlund, Julie Klassen, Karen Witemeyer, Linda Goodnight, Mary Connealy, Melissa Jagears, Nancy Mehl, Olivia Newport, Pepper Basham, Robin Lee Hatcher, Sondra Kraak, Tamera Alexander, Top Ten Tuesday / 53 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite

Welcome to a Back to School freebie edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly linkup hosted as always by the marvelous team at The Broke and the Bookish. Since we were given much freedom with our topics today, I opted to feature some of my favorite books with teachers as main characters.

Back To School TTT

Since I’m a schoolteacher by career, I have a soft spot for books that feature teachers as the main characters. I’ve divided my list into two categories – historical and contemporary – and yeah yeah yeah there’s way more than ten books. What else is new? LOL


I absolutely have to start with these classics – Christy by Catherine Marshall, Love’s Enduring Promise by Janette Oke, and When Calls the Heart also by Janette Oke. These were some of the first Christian fiction books I read that featured teachers … but they’re also still some of my favorites.

Beyond This Moment is part of Tamera Alexander’s Timber Ridge Reflections series, set in the Colorado Territory, and follows a Professor of Romance Languages who comes to Timber Ridge to be the schoolteacher even as she’s hiding a secret. Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy is full of Mary’s trademark humor and heart and romance and is part of her Lassoed in Texas series; it’s about an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic who is forced by circumstances out of her control to marry a young widower with 5 rowdy boys. Belonging is the first book in Robin Lee Hatcher’s Where the Heart Lives series and focuses on a young woman who is trying to start over after a painful past. In the process, she must prove that she can succeed as the new schoolteacher in the tiny town of Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho.

The Advent Bride by Mary Connealy has one of my favorite opening lines to a novella – it made me laugh out loud! Especially as it relates to teaching and my own experiences. It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist is set during the Chicago World’s Fair and is full of great history and kisses. The heroine is a teacher of the deaf and tutors the hero to read lips… so… yeah. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund shines a light on the difficult conditions that teachers faced in frontier settlements, as well as crafting a sweet romance that you will enjoy. (MY REVIEW)

Melissa Jagears’ A Bride At Last is part of her Unexpected Brides series and focuses on Silas who was abandoned by his mail order bride and Kate, a mail order bride who was deceived by her intended groom. Now she’s a teacher and their paths cross thanks to a little boy they both have a stake in. (MY REVIEW) One Plus One Equals Trouble by Sondra Kraak can best be summed up by this official teaser blurb – “The one room schoolhouse isnโ€™t big enough to hold thirty-four students, let alone the egos of two teachers. He canโ€™t afford to lose the position, and she refuses to lose her heart.” Also, see MY REVIEW where I gush about the chemistry between the two characters. Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport is one of the most intriguing books I’ve ever read – Amish, historical, contemporary. Just across the board. It follows the events set in motion after the collapse of the Amish community’s one-room schoolhouse and their forced integration into the mainstream schools. (MY REVIEW)

Rounding out our historical selections are two recent Carol Award winners and one of my favorite Julie Klassen novels. Erica Vetsch swept the novella category for the ACFW Carol Awards this weekend, and her novel His Prairie Sweetheart is an excellent choice if you’re wanting to start reading her books. Like Undaunted Hope, this book highlights the extremely tough conditions that frontier teachers faced as well as their courage and strength. (MY REVIEW) Karen Witemeyer also won a Carol Award this weekend – for A Worthy Pursuit, the hilarious & swoonworthy novel about a schoolteacher on the run and a bounty hunter who never comes home empty-handed. (MY REVIEW) And finally, The Tutor’s Daughter has long been one of my favorite Julie Klassen novels for its elements of suspense as well as romance.

contemporary teachers

My list would be incomplete if I didn’t include – and begin – with these two delightful books in the contemporary category. A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham (MY REVIEW) and Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti (MY REVIEW) are two of my very favorite books by two of my very favorite authors (who also happen to be two of my very favorite people). Both books are full of humor as well as great wisdom. A Twist of Faith may not have a school teacher per se, but Dee is a college professor so I’m counting it ๐Ÿ˜‰ And Lucy in Song of Silence may be forced to retire from her job as a music teacher but she never quits being a teacher at heart. These two books need to be on everybody’s must-read list. Go ahead and add them now. I’ll wait… ๐Ÿ˜€

(By the way – Pepper Basham and Cynthia Ruchti were both ACFW Carol Award finalists this weekend as well! I do not steer you wrong, my friends. These are top-notch authors!)

Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl is a little bit suspense, a little bit romance, and a whole lot of great story. After a tragic past, Sarah has settled in Sanctuary where she teaches at the local school, but her peace is quickly shattered when more tragedy strikes. Winning the Teacher’s Heart by Jean C. Gordon is full of teachers in various stages and forms … and full of romance and sweetness too!

Linda Goodnight’s The Christmas Child is everything we love about holiday stories – sweet, heartwarming, and romantic – and for our purposes today it features a schoolteacher heroine who has the trust of an abandoned little boy in need of a home. Love Finds You in Miracle Kentucky by Andrea Boeshaar caught my eye initially because it was set in Kentucky (and in an area not far from where I live) but also because the main character/heroine is a schoolteacher at the local elementary school.

What about you? What are your favorite books that feature teachers? Let me know in the comments!


53 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Teachers in Fiction

  1. Wow, you came up with a lot more than ten! I’m a former teacher and principal, and my early Silhouette romances feature a couple of teachers. My TTT lists some sci-fi cat books to read instead of doing homework.

  2. Great list as always, Carrie! I’m glad you featured both historical and contemporary titles. While I have read a few of these books, looks like I still have a bunch more to go! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love this idea! I never thought about teachers in fiction. But, I have a feeling my list would have been scandalous teacher/student relationships if I did it. Lol. Nice list!

    My TTT.

  4. Pam Crist

    Christy! I could read this book once a month and not get tired of it. I’ve read a few of the other books mentioned and can’t wait to dig into a lot more that you featured. My poor hubby! He only reads bathroom literature and thinks my love of the written word is going to put us in the poorhouse.

  5. Sylvia M.

    In the historical category I would have to include Whatever Tomorrow Brings and Donovan’s Daughter by Lori Wick. Some good contemporaries that feature teachers are The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus, Reason and Romance by Debra White Smith, and Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn.

  6. Mary Elizabeth Brown

    Great List Carrie! I love teacher stories. Did I mention I am a teacher? I haven’t read most of these but I will add them to my reading list. Thanks.

  7. Such a chute take on the prompt this week! I love it. As usual, I want to add all your books to my TBR. But if you can, what are the top 3 from this week that I should read? Trying not to overwhelm my TBR, you know? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Have you read Wonder by RJ Palacio? That’s the first book I think of when I think of teachers. It actually focuses on a student but the teachers are important in the story too.

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carrie

      me too! I can’t imagine how difficult it would have actually been but it feels so cozy to read about it lol

  8. It’s been ages since I read Christy or Janette Oke but I remember loving them. I agree with the comment about Anne of Avonlea, and I’d add Miss Stacey in Anne of Green Gables. I also enjoyed Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn. It’s the first book in her 1990s Glenbrooke series.

  9. Carrie,

    What a wonderful list and topic. I think school teachers are some of our nation’s most unsung heroes and there definitely don’t get enough recognition for everything that they do. I haven’t read many of these, but they all sound lovely and will definitely be making my TBR grow. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for always going above and beyond on your posts.

  10. emilee douglas

    Beyond This Moment and anything else by Tamera Alexander is a must read for me. I also enjoyed Cynthia Ruchti’s Song of Silence.

  11. I’m a teacher, too! I’d definitely recommend ‘Anne of Avonlea’, and Kaye Dacus’s ‘The Art of Romance’ and Debra White Smith’s ‘Reason and Romance’ (a modern twist on Sense and Sensibility- love!)

  12. Ok, seriously, this is SUCH a fun topic, Carrie. So many great schoolteachers. I still remember meeting Elizabeth Thatcher WAY back when. Those were the days – when I read basically Janette Oke or American Girl and nothing else. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Bonnie Roof

    I loved Erica’s ‘Cactus Creek Challenge’ and Cynthia’s ‘Song of Silence’ was already on my TBR list. However, looks like I have several more to add to that list now, LOL!! My aunt was a school teacher – I agree that teachers aren’t given enough recognition, a difficult job that is so important. Thanks for the wonderful list, and thanks for your wonderful work in the teaching field!!

  14. Brandi Gabriel

    Awesome list, Carrie! My favorite teacher books (haven’t read all that many) are Calico Canyon (Mary Connealy), A Worthy Pursuit (Karen Witemeyer), The Cactus Creek Challenge (Erica Vetsch), and I’m sure there’s more that I’ve simply forgotten! ๐Ÿ™‚

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