The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching. Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.
I've never wanted to teach school for many reasons, but mainly because the thought of being responsible for so many little ones scares me to death, and that's exactly how Sophie feels. She has a lucrative job in real estate, but when the market crashes, so does her career and she can't even make ends meet. Desperate to pay her bills, she resorts to accepting a job teaching first grade. Fortunately, she has a teaching degree, but that doesn't do much in helping her set up her lesson plans for the year. Beth, another teacher, is a great friend and support to Sophie and her planning sessions go a long way in helping.
One of the biggest perks to teaching is the permanent sub, Liam. I love Liam! He's great with kids and he's at the school because he wants to be doing what he enjoys and not what will bring him the most money. I love how persistent he is. He's very thoughtful--having the kids pick dandelions for their teacher and things like that. I love the moments they have together and could picture the sparks flying.
A surprise closing comes up and leads Sophie into a part time real estate gig with a new, handsome partner, Kevin. He comes across as very smooth--almost too perfect--yet Sophie works really well with him. How can she decide between these two?
Sophie has a lot of big decisions to make and I love the way she changes and grows throughout the school year. She was more concerned with money and material things at first, but then grew up and realized there is more to life. I really enjoyed the blog she started and the insights she had about teaching. She had some crazy first year experiences, like being thrown up on, but she handled it all very well. One of my favorite things was the friendship that was forged with Ruby, an elderly woman in the retirement home next door, over playground balls.
Content: Mild romance (kissing); no religious elements, language, or violence. Clean!
Praise for Newbie
Loved this story. I thought it was crisp and funny. Sophie has a great character arch as she goes from the Real Estate world to a classroom of 1st graders. Love Liam. He is a nice breath of fresh air. He and Sophie's interactions kept me laughing and wanting more. I HIGHLY recommend this novel! ~ Author Sherry Gammon
In recent years I've become addicted to Sophie Kinsella's books. This book reminded me of hers, only cleaner, which I appreciated! It was sweet and witty. Definitely had me laughing out loud. Loved the ending :) ~Goodreads Review
I loved this book! I especially have a tender spot for books with children in them and this story about Sophie being "forced" to teach when the real estate market does so poorly captured my heart. The characters were warm and lovable, the story was fun and I enjoyed every minute of the book. ~Phyllis
I loved NEWBIE. Sophie's inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. ~Donna Weaver
Author Jo Noelle
Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people— Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team. They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation. Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family. Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.
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