It's 1978 and Jack Sheffield begins his second year
as headmaster of a small village primary school in North
Yorkshire. There are three letters on his desk. One
makes him smile, one makes him sad and the other is
destined to change his life forever.
This is from nine year old Sebastian, suffering from
leukaemia in the local hospital, who writes a heartbreaking
letter addressed to 'Mister Teacher' and Jack tries
to help. So begins a journey of light and shade through
the seasons of Yorkshire village life in which the school
is the natural centre of the community.
Vera the school secretary who worships Margaret Thatcher
and whose greatest ambition is to become President of
the Women's Institute; Ruby the 20-stone caretaker who
sings like Julie Andrews; Dorothy the coffee shop assistant
who is desperate to be Wonder Woman; all these, and
many more colourful characters, accompany Jack through
the ups and downs of the school year.
Most of all, there is the lovely Beth Henderson, a
teacher from a nearby school, who with her sister Laura
presents Jack with an unexpected dilemma.