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Kizzy Ann Stamps

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  418 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Taking things in stride is not easy for Kizzy Ann, but with her border collie, Shag, stalwart at her side, she sets out to live a life as sweet as syrup on cornbread.

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
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Candlewick
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Middle Grade Novels of 2012
346th out of 346 books — 607 voters
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11th out of 15 books — 6 voters


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Community Reviews

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Alex Baugh
It is 1963 and integration has at last come to rural Virginia. For 12 year old Kizzy Ann Stamps, that means a new school. Her teacher, Mrs. Warren, has given up her job teaching at the one room school for black students so that her kids can go to the larger, better equipped, formally all white school. It will be, Mrs. Warren tells them, a real opportunity.

As summer vacation begins, Kizzy takes Mrs. Warren's advice and writes to her new teacher, Miss Anderson. And to her surprise, Miss Anderson r
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Cindi
Kizzy Ann is both a typical middle-school student and one that stands out. It's 1963 and Kizzy Ann will be attending an integrated school in Virginia for the first time in her life when she begins school in the fall. She's 12 and her best friend is a stray border collie named Shag. Her story is told through a series of letters and journal entries over the course of that school year.

Kizzy Ann Stamps is a character that one feels drawn to immediately; somehow, no matter that her story takes place
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Alexandrapaylor
This was a great book. I won't give everything because that's for you to find out. Kizzy Ann Stamps (a black girl) and her dog Shags earn their right to be in a dog competition. This is a very short review but I can assure you you'll love it!
Linda
This is another of the Black Eyed Susan chapter books for the coming year and I really enjoyed it. It's 1963 in Lynchburg, VA and school integration has arrived. Kizzy Ann will be leaving her one room black school to attend the local elementary school. Her new teacher is welcoming (she is new to the school as well, apparently many teachers left rather than teach black students) but most others are not. Her older brother in high school is not welcomed at all and as a good football player he is no ...more
Lindsey Sanfilippo
May 20, 2014 Lindsey Sanfilippo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Lindsey by: my friend
1) I choose this book because I thought the cover was adorable.

2)The plot of this book is about an African American girl named Kizzy who has a horrible scar and she has to go to a public school for the first time. She is worried and afraid that the white children will pick on her. Kizzy's dog Shag helps her with her problems and is always there for her.

3)"Shag is the only one in the world who doesn't sneak glances at my scar" This was my favorite quote because Kizzy is saying that her dog is the
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Dolores
4 1/2* It's the summer of 1963 and Kizzy Ann Stamps is fulfilling an assignment from her old teacher. She's about to start at a new school and she is to write a letter of introduction to her new teacher. But, this isn't any old school. Kizzy Ann is being integrated into a white school and she doesn't know what to expect, so she's a bit nervous. The book is told in entirely in letters to Miss Anderson, her new teacher. The reader never sees the responses, but is able to get a good picture of Miss ...more
Kary
Loved it!!!! Deals with the topic of integration and civil rights in a fresh, new way. Kizzy Ann is a wonderful role model, and I loved her voice in this book. I loved how the book was written as journal entries that Kizzy Ann was writing to her white teacher. Although we don't hear from the teacher until the very end of the book, it is very clear from Kizzy Ann's entries that she was a proponent of civil rights and that Kizzy really looked up to her. She inspired her in many ways, and we come t ...more
Terri
Letters and journal entries from a young black girl to her first white teacher mark significant events and attitudes in the 1963-64 school year. Kizzy Ann's rapport with her remarkable dog Shag helps her withstand both physical and emotional injuries ranging from a harvest accident that leaves her with a large facial scar to hurtful words, to hurtful words, to exclusion from events because of her race. Shag keeps Kizzy from becoming bitter, but there is no devoted dog to help her older brother o ...more
Vici
I liked this book for many reasons. Written as historical fiction from the point of view of a 10 year old, it sheds insights only a child would understand. (Yes, there are 10 year olds who write in long paragraphs! I have a few every year like that.) It's filled with raw 10 year old emotions. Kizzy Ann struggles inwardly with what she "feels" like doing and what she "should" do because the color of her skin dictates her her outward choices due to "society's rules." Like most girls, she struggles ...more
Julie Cotton
This is one of those books that touched my heart in the most perfect way from start to finish. Much like Chancey of the Maury River and even, in some aspects, Crash. I started to mark great lines or poignant moments, but I nearly had to mark each page, sometimes more than once per page. Kizzy's voice rang true in my head, like I was listening to the book rather than reading it. I giggled a lot, grinned a lot, worried some, bit my nails at times, and I choked up more than I thought I would at a s ...more
M.
I give this 5 stars because I learned things about passive aggressive reactions to mandatory integration that I never thought about before. I guess it's not surprising that some teachers would deliberately sabotage the black students' learning, but I was surprised.

It's 1963 in Lynchburg, VA, and Kizzy Ann Stamps' one room school for black children is closing. The children will now attend the white school, the school with a library, heat, and windows. Kizzy Ann doesn't want to go, afraid of the w
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Erin
This is a great story. I couldn't put it down. I read a few chapters to my nephews to help them fall asleep in a strange place, and then I just kept on reading until I finished :) We had finished more than a chapter or two when one of my nephews asked: "wait, is this girl black?" Yes, this is the story of a black girl who lived when were just getting over the idea of segregated schools. She was being bused to the white school, and it was a tough transition. Kizzy is a little surprised to learn t ...more
Meg
That book was downright painful. Who WOULD I recommend it to? Maybe a 10-year-old girl with a long attention span who absolutely must read a historical fiction book about early 1960s integration in the South for her common core assignment. That's about it.

Would a girl Kizzy Ann's age write letters that include entire paragraphs of dialogue? No. The format was unrealistic at best.

Much as I LOVE Border Collies, that element didn't make this book interesting for me. It was long and largely uneventf
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Ez'ra Clay
I choose this book because on the cover it looked like a cute story about a girl and her dog. however, the book " kizzy ann stamps" is a book about a little African American girl who is in an all white school and she feels that she cant fit in. So she tries to make friends but the only true friend she has is her dog, shag. However, little kizzy ann stamps has a big scar on her face from a framing accident; but that won't stop her from being her self. My favorite quote from this book is "when I f ...more
Jennifer Denney
I think Kizzy is a great narrator and I enjoyed reading her letters to her new teacher. Kizzy is one of four black kids who will be attending the white school in the fall of 1963. Her former teacher encourages her to write a letter to their future teacher, and Kizzy does what she's told. The entire book is only Kizzy's side of the correspondence, and through it, we learn all about her feelings about being at the white school, how her brother James is handling the transition, and all about Kizzy' ...more
Billie Crane
Kizzy Ann is about to start at a new integrated school and is nervous about how she will be accepted because of her skin color and her large scar across her face. Luckily for Kizzy she has her dog to keep her company and give her something to focus on as she decides to train him for a future dog show. This project helps Kizzy as she adjusts to her new school and gives her a positive experience. I thought this was a very nice book and is one many of my students have enjoyed. It is a nice combinat ...more
Laura
Elementary OBOB, book 6. I loved this book. Written all in letters (or journal entries) it follows the life and adventures of Kizzy Ann as she writes to her new teacher in the recently integrated white school. I feel like I have studied civil rights a fair amount, but there were
many things brought to light in Kizzy Ann's writings that I had just never thought about. For instance, how the black students were relegated to JV status for sports, or how a black person wouldn't be able to show a dog.
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Diane
"I shouldn't tell you, I don't guess, but this journal has sort of become where I put down everything I think, everything I work through in my head and my heart."

It's 1963 and Kizzy Ann Stamps is about to go to an integrated school for the first time. As instructed by her former teacher, Mrs. Warren, she writes a letter to her new teacher, Miss Anderson. And Kizzy believes in telling the truth. "I don't want to change to a white school. Just so you know. I don't want to." But when Miss Anderson
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Ms. Yingling
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 d ...more
Karen Arendt
Kizzy is an African American girl in 1963 who will be attending an integrated white school in the Fall. Her previous teacher, Mrs. Warren, insists each of her students write a letter to the new teacher, Miss Anderson. Kizzy begins writing in July, and when Miss Anderson writes back, she continues to write to her. When school starts in September, Kizzy and the other students in the class receive journals from Miss Anderson. Kizzy continues to write to her teacher in the journal, handing it in occ ...more
Teresa Garrett
Kizzy is going to the white school at the beginning of the integration movement in 1963. At the urging of her teacher she is writing to her new teacher at the beginning of the book. Kizzy is very bright and knows her shortcomings and those of people around her. She shares these insight with Miss Anderson all during the summer in correspondence which continues during the school year in journal entries. Kizzy faces constant prejudice on different levels and is determined to overcome as much as pos ...more
Michelle
Kizzy Ann is a sparky 12 year old who is apprehensive about her new school. Her previous teacher encourages her to write to her new teacher, and in a series of letters Kizzy Ann introduces herself, her family, and her beloved dog Shag, a border collie. This is a story about school, family and finding out who your friends are.

But it's another story too, a story about the struggle for integration in America in the early 1960s. Kizzy's new school was formerly whites only, and Kizzy is one of 4 blac
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Mrs. S
Ok, first: This was a really sweet story. I totally rooted for Kizzy throughout, and got really happy when things actually went her way (they often did not.) I also totally loved her wonderful, wonderful dog Shag. And I was interested to read about some details of life in the barely, uneasily integrated American South that I hadn't come across before (like the fact that dog shows did not permit African-Americans to show dogs.) In the author's note at the end, I learned that one of the characters ...more
Jill
Kizzy Ann Stamps is a girl who is starting at a new school. A new, previously all-white school in the South in 1963. Her former teacher, Mrs. Warren, a woman who gave up her job as the community's only teacher at the school for black children so that they could go to the white school, tells Kizzy to write to her new teacher, Mrs. Anderson, which Kizzy does, even though she says Mrs. Warren would say she's "a troublemaker." Kizzy then continues to write to her teacher, though it changes to a jour ...more
Wandering Librarians
Kizzy Ann Stamps in nervous about school starting. For the first time, school will be integrated and Kizzy Ann will be going to what once was the all-white school. Fitting in would be hard enough anyway, but Kizzy Ann was in an accident that left a long scar on her face. Luckily she has her loyal border collie, Shag, who always knows how to comfort her.

The story is told through what start out as letters Kizzy Ann writes to her new teacher, and then turn into journal entries once she gets to sch
...more
Rebecca
Kizzy Ann is a 12-year-old girl in 1963 who will be transferred to a just-integrated school in the fall. On the advice of her formidable, not-to-be-questioned former teacher, Mrs. Warren, she begins corresponding with her new teacher, Miss Anderson, in order to let her new instructor know more about her. So the book is constructed as a series of letters although you never read Miss Anderson's replies.

Important facts to know about Kizzy--according to Kizzy--are that she owns the best dog in the u
...more
Mary Wilkinson
I read this book aloud to my class of 6th graders. None of us could wait until the next day when I would read another chapter of it. My African American students liked it the best because the main character, Kizzy, is an very smart and determined African American. There were parts in it that made us laugh and made us cry. Lovers of dogs would like this book too, as a dog is one of the main characters. Jeri Watts has done a wonderful job with this book. I would recommend it to everyone.
Kat
This book was full of racism and hard work. I loved the times when Kizzy was training shag as it was real and made sense. However, when Mr.Feagans suddenly just started to accept her after years of treating her badly, it confused me. Just a while before, he had someone hit her with a switch. It is very unlikely that someone would do that and then try to accept them in the real world. So, in my opinion, the author could have explained that better. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book.
Debbie
Excellent book for juveniles; a work of historical fiction. The story is told in a series of letters written by the main character, Kizzy Ann Stamps, to her teacher. She begins writing over the summer when she learns that her school is closing because the black students will be integrated into the white school. This is a story about hardship and resilience, and a story about forgiveness and friendship. Ideal reading material for Black History month or to enrich lessons on civil rights.
Bethe
This was a featured book at the Scholastic Book Fair and of course, the border collie on the cover drew me in (although Shag is described as classic black and white fur, not brown and white as in the photo). This is a great MG novel detailing the struggles with school integration for one African American girl's family in the 1960s. All Kizzy Ann's experiences and feelings ring true, as well as the sometimes chatty tone of her letters/journal entries. I was about to abandon it near the beginning ...more
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Jeri Watts has worked as a public school teacher for twenty-seven years. She has written numerous short stories as well as the picture book Keepers. Kizzy Ann Stamps is her first middle-grade novel. Jeri Watts lives in Virginia, where she is a professor at Lynchburg College.
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