Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker
If who you are is a product of where you’re from, how do you stay true to yourself nearly a thousand miles from the only home you’ve ever known? That’s exactly what Anthony “Ant” Jones tries to figure out when he’s sent to elite Belton Academy after witnessing a horrifying murder in his rough Cleveland neighborhood. Over the course of the school year, Ant struggles to navigate the tricky private-school politics of race, class, and academic achievement as he works to find his place in the overwhelmingly white and wealthy crowd. And yet, when he returns home for vacation, he finds himself a stranger on his own block. Can Ant succeed at Belton without losing his identity and alienating everyone who loves him?
Based on the author’s personal experience at prep school in Massachusetts, Black Boy White School is a thoughtful and engaging novel, full of believable characters and realistic situations. The text is straightforward and well-suited to readers of popular teen fiction, such as the Drama High series, and the works of Allison Van Diepen. Readers interested in race and politics will find a lot to think about in Brian F. Walker’s first book. --Regan Schwartz