New Novel Gets to the Heart of Why Teachers Are Fighting for Respect Nationwide

BERGENFIELD, N.J., Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ As a former teacher, J. F. Pandolfi wanted to write a novel that delved into the human interest aspects of teaching. In his view, the personal connection between teacher and student is just as important as the information contained in their textbooks-sometimes more so. Watching teachers' frustration boil over into the national spotlight, he was certain his book was more timely and relevant than ever.

"As I was writing this book, teachers in various states began banding together to rally for fairer wages and better working conditions," Pandolfi said. "My daughter is a teacher, and every year she pays a healthy sum for classroom supplies, out of her pocket. And when I saw news coverage of teachers who couldn't support their families on their salaries, it was heartbreaking. That gave me even greater incentive to tell this story."

To get his message across, he chose an unconventional story line, set in the early 1970s. Rather than the protagonist, Tony Piza, being a fresh-faced idealist, he's a recent college grad who wants a year off to contemplate life. He manipulates his way into a job at a Catholic elementary school, thinking it will be a paid vacation. On day one, reality smacks him in the head.

Eventually forced to mature, Piza puts his outgoing personality and sense of humor to work in the classroom. But his irreverent antics, and well-meaning attempts to help resolve some of his students' social issues outside of school, antagonize the powers-that-be, putting him and them on a collision course.

Pandolfi also noted that there are strong female characters in the book. And there are several scenes that take place outside the classroom setting, many involving the "chaos and love" of family and friendship.

The resulting novel is a funny and moving tale about the profound impact of a young teacher on his students' lives-and theirs on his.

"Mr. Pizza" is currently available on Amazon at

About the Author: J. F. Pandolfi went to Fordham University as an undergrad, then taught at a Catholic elementary school before attending Fordham Law School. Practicing law certainly had its moments, but to call it "utter euphoria" was a stretch. An award for a flash fiction piece he wrote convinced him to change direction, so he called upon his fond memories as a teacher, which served as a backdrop to "Mr. Pizza." He is also a staunch supporter of the fight to eradicate adult illiteracy, and was accorded a Special Recognition in Literacy Award for his efforts.

J. F. Pandolfi can be reached by email at, or through the contact page on his website:

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Contact: Joseph Pandolfi
Phone: 201-374-7834

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SOURCE J. F. Pandolfi

New Novel Gets to the Heart of Why Teachers Are Fighting for Respect Nationwide

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