I'm wondering if you could tailor your book recommendations for a specific need of mine. I'm a chemistry teacher, of 16 to 18 year old students, and I'm looking for a text that gives an overview of organic synthesis. To give you an example, some students just argued with me over the sequence of modifications to a starting material in a particular problem (shown below). I had to fluster up the least lame paraphrase that came to mind for: "Well that's what the book says so do it that way." So now I need to brush up on my organic synthesis, and, if you or any other members are aware of such a text, it would be good if it had some rules of thumb about the sensible order in which to do each step, so as not to promote undesirable side reactions.
The problem: They had to get from 3-chloropropanal to 3-aminopropan-1-ol. The book said to first reduce the aldehyde and then substitute the chlorine for the amine group. One student argued that the steps should be in reverse, as he felt that ammonia would react with both the chlorine and the alcohol group. (Interestingly, he was convinced that the ammonia and the alcohol would create an ammonium alkoxide, which I found very unlikely.)
Any takers on either a good text book or some useful wisdom to share with the student would be gratefully received.