Kizzy Ann Stamps

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Kizzy Ann Stamps
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 14, 2012
ISBN
9780763658953
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In 1963, as Kizzy Ann prepares for her first year at an integrated school, she worries about the color of her skin, the scar running from the corner of her right eye to the tip of her smile, and whether anyone at the white school will like her. She writes letters to her new teacher in a clear, insistent voice, stating her troubles and asking questions with startling honesty. The new teacher is supportive, but not everyone feels the same, so there is a lot to write about. Her brother, James, is having a far less positive school experience than she is, and the annoying white neighbor boy won’t leave her alone. But Shag, her border collie, is her refuge. Even so, opportunity clashes with obstacle. Kizzy Ann knows she and Shag could compete well in the dog trials, but will she be able to enter? From Jeri Watts comes an inspiring middle-grade novel about opening your mind to the troubles and scars we all must bear — and facing life with hope and trust.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Historical fiction about civil rights
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
In 1963, Kizzy is very concerned about starting a new school in the fall, especially since her class is being transferred to a predominately white school. Her teacher, Miss Anderson, has the children write letters to her to ease this transition, and since Kizzy loves to write, she sends huge epistles about her dog, Shag, how she got the sizable scar on her face, her difficult relationship with neighbor and schoolmate Frank, and her older brother's growing dissatisfaction with the lot of blacks during this time. Once school starts, Kizzy keeps a journal that Miss Anderson reads from time to time. Shag is a border collie, and Kizzy would very much like to train him for AKC competition, but it is hard to find books on the topic. The librarian puts her in contact with a Scottish man who helps train him. While this is going on, Kizzy also writes about the challenges of being in a white school, including an episode where she wins the school spelling bee but is prevented from competing on the next level because she is black. Problems also arise when she tries to show Shag, but things are changing slowly, and Kizzy hopes that she will be able to have more opportunities to shine in the future.



Good Points
It is great to have a book set during this time about a black student rather than a white one. The range of experiences that Kizzy has sheds a lot of light on the treatment of blacks at this time, and the inclusion of her interest in dogs will give this a wider audience.
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