This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality
This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality

List Price:

$29.79
School Discount
Price:

$20.85
Qty(25-99)
Discount Price:

$20.43
Qty(100-249)
Discount Price:

$20.22
Qty(250-499)
Discount Price:

$20.02
Qty(>500)
Discount Price:

$19.60
To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: This story in verse recounts the firsthand experiences of one of the nine young African-American students who made history by integrating Tennessee's Clinton High School 1956, a year before the integration of Little Rock High.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #209865
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 310 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-681-19852-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7616-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-681-19852-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7616-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018026349
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Students of school-desegregation history know of the Little Rock 9, but probably fewer are familiar with the Clinton 12, who integrated a Tennessee high school a full year earlier, in 1956. Boyce, one of the 12, recounts her story in a series of moving narrative poems that detail mid-twentieth-century segregation practices in the South; introduce her family and their place in the town; describe the early, relatively civilized integration of the school; and explain how the introduction of outside agitators heightened tensions and led to violence. Boyce's positive attitude about her experiences invites reader identification. Yes, she and others endured unrelenting pressure and threats, but the cause was important and the results worthwhile. The poems (mostly free verse with a sprinkling of other forms) personalize this history, and interspersed newspaper headlines and quotes situate the response of the larger world. Generous back matter includes additional information about the Clinton 12, a time line, period photos, sources, and further reading. Engrossing, informative, and important for middle-grade collections.
Kirkus Reviews
An autobiographical account in verse of a teen pioneering school desegregation in the South. Jo Ann Allen lives up on a hill with the other black residents of Clinton, Tennessee. They travel to Knoxville to attend the black schools, but in 1956, two years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, a judge in Knoxville tells Clinton officials that they must integrate immediately. Jo Ann is one of 12 black students who enroll in the all-white Clinton High School. With co-author Levy, she tells her story of that year in poems grouped by her relationship to her town ("Mine, Theirs and Ours"; "Fear," etc.). Most of the white people who support the black students do so only out of civic duty to obey the law. Still, there are moments of hope, as when her white classmates elect her vice president of their homeroom; it seems she might make friends. But then hatred and violence overtake the town of Clinton, necessitating federal law enforcement to keep the peace. Readers will empathize with Jo Ann's honest incredulity: "Mouths spewing insults. / (Do these mouths sing hymns on Sunday? / Do they say ‘I love you'?)" One timely poem remembers a local election in which "every single / white supremacist/ segregationist / candidate / lost." Such gems relevant to today's politics, along with the narrator's strong inner voice, make this offering stand out.Powerful storytelling of a not-so-distant past. (epilogue, authors' notes, photos, timeline, sources, bibliography, further reading) (Verse memoir. 9-14)
Publishers Weekly
Boyce, one of 12 black students who integrated Clinton, Tennessee-s public high school in August 1956, following racial desegregation, relays the story of that harrowing experience in verse. Levy (I Dissent) notes that poetry is a particularly appropriate choice, given the -musicality- of her coauthor-s voice, which is also insightful, immediate, and passionate. Recognizing the duplicity of the court-ordered integration, Boyce writes: -We-re in, yes./ But it-s more complicated than that./ Or, looked at another way-it-s simpler./ ...You can-t stay after school,/ when the fun stuff is whites-only./ Glee club, football, cheerleading?/ No, no, and no./ Simple. That-s the complication.- Boyce poignantly describes the cruelty of white students, as -the little shoves- become -the shove that almost knocks Gail Ann out the window... From the little slights/ come the larger evils,/ and they feel/ monstrous.- While she acknowledges that it-s difficult -to change a promise of change/ into real change,- Boyce never loses hope in the belief that racial equality is attainable and that she can help make it happen. Though her parents (fearing for their safety) moved the family to California in December 1956, and Boyce left Clinton, readers will appreciate that she did make a difference by standing up for her beliefs with resolve and persistence, attributes that shine through in this lyrical yet hard-hitting account of a pivotal chapter in the history of desegregation. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)

School Library Journal
Gr 48 This evocatively told, carefully researched memoir-in-verse is the story of a group of 12 teenagers from Clinton, TN, who, in 1956, were among the first black students to pave the way for school integration. Free verse and formal poetry, along with newspaper headlines, snippets of legislation, and other primary sources about national and local history are mixed with Boyce's first-person narrative. The book opens with an overview of life in segregated Clinton and the national events leading up to the desegregation of Clinton High. The rest of the work follows the four months in the fall of 1956 when Boyce and the other 11 teens attended Clinton High. They faced angry white mobs outside the school, constant harassment from white classmates, and a hostile principal who viewed integration as a legal choice rather than a moral one. The book includes an introduction and epilogue, authors' notes, brief biographies of the involved students, photographs, a time line, and a bibliography. The writing invites readers to cheer on Boyce for her optimism and her stubbornness in the face of racism, without singling her out as a solitary hero. This story adeptly shows readers that, like the Clinton Twelve, they too can be part of something greater than themselves. VERDICT A must-buy for tweens and teens, especially where novels-in-verse are popular. Erica Ruscio, formerly at Rockport Public Library, MA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
An autobiographical account in verse of a teen pioneering school desegregation in the South. Jo Ann Allen lives up on a hill with the other black residents of Clinton, Tennessee. They travel to Knoxville to attend the black schools, but in 1956, two years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, a judge in Knoxville tells Clinton officials that they must integrate immediately. Jo Ann is one of 12 black students who enroll in the all-white Clinton High School. With co-author Levy, she tells her story of that year in poems grouped by her relationship to her town ("Mine, Theirs and Ours"; "Fear," etc.). Most of the white people who support the black students do so only out of civic duty to obey the law. Still, there are moments of hope, as when her white classmates elect her vice president of their homeroom; it seems she might make friends. But then hatred and violence overtake the town of Clinton, necessitating federal law enforcement to keep the peace. Readers will empathize with Jo Ann's honest incredulity: "Mouths spewing insults. / (Do these mouths sing hymns on Sunday? / Do they say ‘I love you'?)" One timely poem remembers a local election in which "every single / white supremacist/ segregationist / candidate / lost." Such gems relevant to today's politics, along with the narrator's strong inner voice, make this offering stand out.Powerful storytelling of a not-so-distant past. (epilogue, authors' notes, photos, timeline, sources, bibliography, further reading) (Verse memoir. 9-14)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 24,938
Reading Level: 6.3
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.3 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 199651 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:8.5 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q76589
Lexile: 1000L

Recipient of a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Winner of the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Boo k Award for Nonfiction A NYPL Top Ten of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to goback to their old school. Jo Ann--clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students---found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen? This is the heartbreaking and relatable story of her four months thrust into the national spotlight and as a trailblazer in history. Based on original research and interviews and featuring backmatter with archival materials and notes from the authors on the co-writing process.


*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.