The early days of Malakoff School: Ken Harris to sign copies of his new book | TheUnion.com

The early days of Malakoff School: Ken Harris to sign copies of his new book

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Ken Harris' new book is an account of his teaching experiences at Malakoff School from the fall of 1982 to the spring of 1988.

Local author Ken Harris will sign his latest book, "Malakoff School (With Feather Pens and Berry Juice)" from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Booktown Books, 107 Bank Street, Grass Valley.

The book is an account of the author's experiences teaching at Malakoff School from the fall of 1982 through the spring of 1988, with a two-year hiatus at other schools.

In the fall of 1982 Harris found himself in the living room of an abandoned ranger station just outside of North Bloomfield teaching fourth through eighth grades. There were six students. After that, things got a little weird, hence the book.

Malakoff School started out as a school without a building, traveling from place to place from year to year, and ended as a school building without a school. It was closed for low attendance around 20 years ago.

Harris started the adventure as a person who believed he was through with teaching and took the job as a stopgap.

By fall of 2008 he had changed his mind and believed that he had something to offer as a teacher.

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The experience, Harris found, was sometimes a little dangerous, sometimes a lot of fun. Other schools took field trips to the wilderness for camping. Malakoff students took a field trip to Marin County.

The school got three computers from Apple when all of the other schools in the country did, but there were only had 21 students at Malakoff School at the time. So everyone had lots of time to learn to use the computer, much more than if they had attended a "town school."

"Malakoff" will be available for purchase at Booktown on Bank Street.

"It will be an evening for a little wine or bubbly water," said Harris, "a little cheese, some reading, some story telling and some laughs."