Let’s return to a timely grade-school exercise for a moment: I am thankful for … the state of the education beat. Look around the country, and there are so many incredible stories about this crucial subject. You’ll find just a few of them below.

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The story of a high-school library book 76 years overdue

What happens when a book is overdue to a high-school library that no longer exists? By, say, over 70 years? Katie Gillespie at The Columbian traces the journey of a long-overdue copy of “Mrs. Miniver” found in a Federal Way home — but which came from a school in Vancouver, Wash. At the other end of the transaction: Fort Vancouver High School librarian Kate Burton. Come for the story, stay for the history.

What it’s like to be homeless and a student in New York 

At The New York Times, Eliza Shapiro followed two homeless students in the nation’s largest public school district, New York City, where 114,085 kids don’t have reliable housing. The piece wraps text around images, showing Darnell and Sandivel’s journey from waking up before 6 a.m. in a room they share with four other relatives. The number of students who live in a similar “doubled-up” situation has risen there. In one place Darnell and Sandivel’s family lived, their housemates wouldn’t let them eat in the kitchen. In another, there was an attempted murder. When the siblings’ school bus didn’t show up, they had to take a 90-minute subway ride to get to class.

When students are locked away in school

In Illinois, there were more than 20,000 incidents of secluding students from the 2017-18 school year through early December 2018, a heartbreaking ProPublica Illinois investigation found. Of 12,000 incidents that had records about what caused the seclusion, “school workers documented no safety reason.” Parents weren’t told much about what happened. The logs showed what happened inside those rooms, as told by students, many of them with disabilities.