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A Tribute to Homer Book

Homer Book - 1957 MHS Yearbook
Homer E. Book
Mathematics and Band Teacher, 1956-1957
Malden High School, Malden Missouri
B.A. and B.S.E. Oakland City College
M. S. E. University of Mississippi

On day two of my Malden (Missouri) High School freshman algebra class (in 1952) the teacher (who liked to be called "Professor") said, "Bill Green, go get the waste paper basket and collect the homework."

Best I could tell, that homework was never examined. I learned three things in algebra that year. Most of the homework assignments were handled by having different students go up and ask "the professor" how to work a given problem. These worked problems were then copied by the rest of the class. I think everybody got a passing grade.

In my sophomore year I took no math or math related courses. In my junior year I did come out of my shell and took the plane geometry class. (I think Mr. Book taught that class.)

In my senior year, I signed up for advanced algebra (first semester) and trigonometry (second semester). The majority of the members of this class were Juniors on a normal track. Our teacher, for these two one-semester classes was Mr. Book. On day one of the algebra class he told us, "Allright, let's take a little test. See what you know."

After reviewing our results he announced, "Nobody knows any algebra." Followed by "Let's see what we can do about this."

Mr. Book got permission from the principal to give us a whole year of algebra (starting from scratch). We could get our trig at a later time.

We did, in fact, learn algebra! I graduated high school without ever getting the trig. I Joined the Navy the following year.

Without that foundation in algebra, laid by Mr. Book, I would have been incapable of passing the math tests associated with Navy electronics technician schooling or, later on, the Navy Enlisted Scientfic Education Program (NESEP), which, for me, led to a baccalaureate degree in engineering and commissioning as a naval officer.

I and my math class owe a special debt of gratitude to Homer Book for caring to do it right by his students.

Mr. Book was active in civic affairs. Here is a picture of the members of the Malden Lion's club, most likely taken in 1965 or 1966. Mr. Book is front row, second from the left (dark jacket).

Malden MO Lion's
Club - 1965-1966
Malden Lion's Club - 1965-1966 - Malden, Missouri
Courtesy, Malden Historical Museum

Homer's wife, Lena Chloe Book was born on Feb. 2, 1916, at Bernie, Mo. They were married on March 10, 1940. Lena passed away on October 24, 2003.

To furnish new information, contact: Stephen Fritzius at: fritzius@bellsouth.net

Installed 15 Dec 2013. Latest Update 26 Nov 2016.