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Book And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City Students

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And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City Students

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City Students.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Miles Corwin(Author)

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Bestselling author of The Killing Season and veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Miles Corwin spent a school year with twelve high school seniors -- South-Central kids who qualified for a gifted program because of their exceptional IQs and test scores. Sitting alongside them in classrooms where bullets were known to rip through windows, Corwin chronicled their amazing odyssey as they faced the greatest challenges of their academic lives. And Still We Rise is an unforgettable story of transcending obstacles that would dash the hopes of any but the most exceptional spirits.

The typical image of South-Central Los Angeles doesn't lend itself to peaceful and productive high schools. But as Los Angeles Times reporter Miles Corwin chronicles in this troubling yet uplifting book, the ills of the inner city have not completely defeated Toni Little's advanced-placement students at Crenshaw High School, with whom Corwin spent the 1996-1997 academic year as a silent observer. Having grown weary of writing about gang violence, drive-by shootings, and drug arrests, Corwin wanted "to find a way to write about the other children of South-Central, the students who avoid the temptations of the street, who strive for success, who, against all odds, in one of America's most impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhoods, manage to endure, to prevail, to succeed." He also wanted to show "how truly slanted the playing field remains, how inequality is built into a system touted as a meritocracy." Though 98 percent of the students in the gifted program go on to attend college, it takes a near superhuman effort for them to reach graduation day. In And Still We Rise, Corwin details exactly why. Los Angeles Times reporter Corwin offers a viscerally affecting glimpse inside the world of an inner-city high school. Hewing to the approach of his first book, The Killing Season: A Summer Inside an LAPD Homicide Division, he followed the seniors in an Advanced Placement (AP) English class from their first day of school in 1997 to graduation. Overcrowded, underfunded Crenshaw High School has a dropout rate of almost 50%. Notorious as the setting for the movie Boyz 'n the Hood and as home base for one of L.A.'s worst gangs, Crenshaw is located in the impoverished and crime-ridden South-Central district. The struggling students whose stories Corwin adroitly interweaves face trying circumstances: some have parents on welfare, in prison or addicted to crack; many work at part- or full-time jobs; several cope with the scarring effects of physical or sexual abuse. Yet most minority students in Crenshaw's "gifted magnet program" manage to get As and go on to college. Corwin succeeds admirably in avoiding the cliched image of inner-city schools, with wide-eyed, altruistic teachers and menacing students. For example, he describes Toni Little, the white AP English teacher (nearly all of whose students are black), as a volatile, histrionic personality who frequently involves students in her bitter ongoing battle with administrators. California voted to end affirmative action in 1997, and Corwin passionately argues that affirmative action programs are an imperfect but necessary measure to level a grossly uneven playing field. His profiles of high achievers who shun the temptations of the street are sure to inspire. Agent: Barney Karpfinger. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Book details

  • PDF | 432 pages
  • Miles Corwin(Author)
  • Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 20, 2001)
  • English
  • 2
  • Education & Teaching

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Review Text

  • By B. America on April 1, 2013

    I just about almost cried towards the end of the last chapter. I am sure if this was a movie I would cry watching it. The struggles these teenagers go through are what makes them want to strive in school. Some are in foster home to foster home and others were abused or in a deadly gang and changed to be a better person for his own life. I liked the character of Ms. Little as I read the second half of the book. She is a teacher who does care about her students being successful and preparing them to pass the Advanced Placement Exam at the end of the year. All-in-all, this book was a great read and I'm glad my teacher assigned it to me! Read it in 5 days with pauses in between to eat and shower and eat of course and going to my religious service.

  • By A customer on June 20, 2001

    I started this book while in the sixth grade, and finished it just a while after Summer Vacation started. I knew after the introdution, about Olivia, that I was going to love it. Little did I know that it would end up being my favorite book, even more than all the Harry Potter books.Though we don't have gang-banging or drive-by shootings here, I can closely relate to the students. I was deeply interested with Sadikifu. I have never been in dentention or anything of the such, I have been in rather an acedemic slump lately. I had planned not to go to college, to simply get a job that paid enough to sustain a living while writing in any spare time I had. My love of writing also connected me with Sadi.However, after reading this book, my mind was changed. I now plan on going to the best college that accepts me. I was so moved by this book that I actually cried at the end, and planned to help my friend also get into a good college.I was also touched by Olivia's story, and cried both when they sent her to the Dorothy-Kirby center, and when they released her. She'd had such a hard life, and strived so hard to succeed, she deserved to go to college.To sum up my review, I can simply say that this a wonderful book, excellently written, and the plot was amazing to be true. I soon plan to read "The Killing Season" by Miles Corwin, as soon as I finish "The Street Lawyer" by John Grisham and "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.I highly suggest reading this book to all ages, although it is quite an advanced book, but Gifted Students in sixth will only further relate to it than remeadiate tenth graders.

  • By A customer on May 11, 2000

    This genre -- downbeaten students succeeding against all odds -- has been well worked over, from "Up the Down Staircase" to "Dangerous Minds." In this book, a year in the life of gifted kids in South Central, Miles Corwin claims to take a new spin on it by focusing on the students as heroes, rather than the teacher -- an interesting take. But not one that is entirely successful.While there is no denying the inherent drama of their stories, the students often come across as two-dimensional: smart, determined, engaging kids battling nearly insurmountable odds. They're inspiring, and they're role models -- but they're a bit flat for literature. The facts of their life histories -- betrayal, abuse, abandonment -- are terrible, but not original. You root for the kids, but you don't get inside of them. What differentiates a student who can break out of the gangs from one who cannot? Why do some of the students fail, and others not? The book gives just enough detail that you beg to learn more; we are close enough to the students to respect them, and admire them, but not close enough to truly understand them.The irony of this book is that the most interesting "character" in it is, in fact, the teacher, Toni Little, who is equal parts inspiring and infuriating. The battle between her inner champion (who inspires and genuinely connects with her students) and her inner demons (who abandon the children at a critical juncture over trivial issues) provides the book with much of its dramatic tension. She may not be the hero of the book, but she is the protagonist, a more compelling and fully developed character than any of the children.

  • By Kevin McFadden on August 22, 2002

    "And Still We Rise" was a compelling look at a group of students rarely disscussed. Inner city students who not only go to school to get by but against great odds are able to beat the odds and succeed in school. "And Still We Rise" follows a group of students attending Crenshaw High School enrolled in their gifted students program. "And Still We Rise" looks at the daily obsticals and pitfalls of the gifted program students face as they try to attain a better life through education. "And Still We Rise" also causes those of us in the educational community to question the way we look present day educational issues as well as our students. "And Still We Rise" is both inspirational as well as insightfull. I highly recommend this book for all people, especially those in education.

  • By A customer on February 14, 2002

    This book was thoroughly entertaining. The fact that the story does not have a predictable happy ending makes it even more realistic and enjoyable to read.This book should be mandatory reading for all teachers who begin their teaching careers in the inner city. It should also be required reading for middle class high school students who question the need for affirmative action. The students profiled in this book would run circles around your average middle class teenager.

  • By Mary on September 23, 2013

    it was actually required for a class studying school social work. as an LA native, i found it to be very relatable, inspiring, dont want to put it down. well-written. i have even recommended it to my high school clients.

  • By porkboy on December 23, 2011

    Had to read it for class so I wasn't looking forward to it but I was pleasantly surprised. Hearing these true stories about these kids trying to get scholarships and get out the ghetto was pretty mind blowing. Some of these kids had some brutal childhoods. Its impressive that Miles Corwin got them to open up and talk about their awful past. Read a book read a book read a mother f'n book.

  • By S. Buyer on April 22, 2011

    This is an extremely good book. I had to purchase it for one of my social work classes, and I am very glad I read it. The students and teachers are all inspiring.


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