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Jake takes place during one of the single most powerfully shaping times in a person's life--"secondary education. Through the metaphor of the utopian and fictitious St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Montgomery shows us how our humanity can only be fully realized through other humans. The book tracks the rebirth of Jake, the titular and main character, who moves from a transparent and only-good-as-I-have-to-be mentality to a lifestyle of excellence and three-dimensionality, with the help of his school, which is personified through the characters of Mary White, rector; George Meader, teacher; and Joel Kohn, student. Though only taking place in St. Stephen's, Jake presents both Montgomery's view of public school systems, and his view of an ideal school--"which, in this case, comes in the form of an independent school, although the tenets that make the school so wonderful could be applied to almost any school--"public, independent, parochial, or otherwise. Mixing real-world models with an informed idealism, Montgomery creates St. Stephen's in order to demonstrate the most positive influence a school can have on one person. Hide synopsis

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