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Kizzy Ann Stamps

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,024 Ratings  ·  196 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
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Candlewick (first published August 1st 2012)
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Madison L I thought it was okay but I would still recommend you reading it if you like hearing about school drama and sheep hoarding dogs in the letter format

Community Reviews

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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
Feb 28, 2015 ReGina rated it really liked it
Kizzy Ann Stamps tells the story of a young girl who lives in Lynchburg, VA at the time of integration. The story is told through a series of letters and journal entries to her new teacher at the white school. The story is great for upper elementary students because it showcases the varying responses of both whites and blacks to integration as well as some of the obstacles that arose. A lot of kids do not have a real grasp on what occurred during that time; this story gives some real, tangible e ...more
Alex Baugh
Nov 05, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
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
Aug 11, 2012 Cindi rated it really liked it
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
Jan 05, 2015 Nate rated it liked it
Shelves: obob-2015, 2015
Kizzy Ann Stamps is an epistolary novel set in the south in 1963. The story follows Kizzy Ann as she first writes letters and then in her journal throughout the school year. She is among a group of black students that are the first at a formerly all-white school. Kizzy Ann is a strong character and was a real joy to share in life's trials and adventures with. This book covers subjects such as discrimination, segregation, the assassination of President Kennedy, farm life, and the magnificent bree ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it
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
Jul 21, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved Kizzy Ann Stamps. It was an amazing book! I really liked the way it was told in letters and you could feel Kizzy's trust and/or dislike of some of the characters she writes about. Also the last letter from her teacher was a really good way to wrap up Kizzy's story. It was cool to see that not only did the letters Kizzy got back help her, but the letters she sent meant something to her teacher. I liked that she has a few people she feels are strong-willed and you can not say no ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Bethe rated it really liked it
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
Natalie A
May 08, 2015 Natalie A rated it it was amazing
Kizzy Ann Stamps is a book about a black girl and her dog Shag, who live in Lynchburg,Virginia during integration. She is starting a new school and doesn't know if she'll fit in, especially since she has a scar running from her right eye to her lip. She is also training for a herding competition, but doesn't know if they will let her in, since she is black.

This book touched my heart and reminded me that equality is a big part of our lives. I recommend this book to people who like a different ty
Thalia P
Mar 01, 2016 Thalia P rated it it was amazing
I think Kizzy Ann Stamps was a great book because the book tells you how life was being black and her life as a child. Kizzy Stamps is moving schools and she is going to a white school. She has a moon like scar on her cheek form an farming incendent. There is this boy who is following her around and he thinks that they are friends but she is annoyed by him. She has a dog and named Shag she goes where she goes not all the time and she cares for her. Shag is a border collie and she got bit by a sn ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 07, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Kizzy Ann's story is told interestingly in journal format; she faces racism, school, growing up and friendship, all accompanied by her beloved collie, Shag. As she learns more and more about human nature and the world around her, she teaches other people a lot as well through her honest letters about growing up as a black child in a mostly-white school during the early Sixties.

Kizzy Ann Stamps isn't just a story with a powerful message about prejudice, it's also a nostalgic coming-of-age story;
Jul 02, 2014 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: remember, share
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.
Jun 22, 2014 Kelsey rated it it was ok
KIzzy Ann Stamps has a good story line, and is written as letters from Kizzy to her new teacher at the white school. I thoroughly enjoyed her adventures with her dog and finding new friends. However, the voice in this book is all wrong. Her letters did not sound like a child, much less a child of that time and setting. That made it very difficulty to finish the book, although the ending was satisfying. Good intentions, not so good delivery.
Apr 18, 2014 Alexandrapaylor rated it really liked it
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!
Jul 29, 2014 Zarahi rated it it was amazing
Loved this story and Kizzy Ann's strength and determination! I love the way she overcame her difficulties and the way she was able to relate to all kinds of people. She is an inspiration.
Jada Jurek
Jan 19, 2017 Jada Jurek rated it really liked it
I really liked the book, “Kizzy Ann Stamps” because it shows you what it would be like to be a black, twelve-year-old girl in the year of 1963 (which is around the time where it was legal for black kids to got to white schools). It shows how Kizzy Ann goes through a lot and how bad it was back in the day when black people did not have equal rights. I also liked it because of the author, Jerri Watts, decided to lay the book out where Kizzy Ann and her teacher, Miss Anderson, write letters back an ...more
Nov 14, 2016 MrsMitchell rated it liked it
Shelves: read2016
I learned a lot more about school integration from this book, but I wasn't that interested in the dog part of the story since I'm not really a pet person. I really liked understanding the differences between Kizzy's old black school and the new integrated school, but I felt like the problems between her and her classmates were fixed a little too easily. I also thought the end of the book seemed like it was trying too hard to teach too many lessons. I like when books have inspiring themes, but I ...more
Jan 13, 2017 Keann rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. I was never bored reading it and I never wanted to put it down. It you want a fast easy book to read, I would suggest this book.
Mrs. S
Sep 06, 2012 Mrs. S rated it liked it
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
Reading is my Escape
Historical Fiction emphasizes hope

I never thought I'd write to the teacher at the white school. Idon't know as I've ever thought about the white school, really, before all this integration business got started. But here I am, fixing to go there come September.
--Chapter 1

This historical fiction novel tells the story of integration in a small town and how a young girl sees things. Kizzy Ann Stamps is a young girl of color who doesn't really want to go to the "white school". The book is set up as
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
Jan 21, 2014 M. rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2016 Suzy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Kizzy thinking about her dog Shag: "I don't think trust has a color, but it sure must have a smell."

...feel like I am some sort of freak because I have a crease on my face that makes me different from them. Differences aren't welcome. Being the same is what matters. People like same. And I'm not the same. I'm me. feels like a part of me has given up on being treated equal -- on seeing the world get better for me than it was for my parents or grandparents. And yet I've had glimpse
Aug 24, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
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
Aug 08, 2016 Tami rated it liked it
I think Kizzy Ann Stamps will be a popular Lovelace choice, particularly for girls in grades 3-6.

Kizzy Ann will be in 6th Grade in the fall of 1963. We meet her the summer before she attends--for the first time--the integrated elementary school in their Virginia town. The book is told in the form of letters (and, later, journal entries) from Kizzy Ann to her new teacher. I don't know that the format is particularly believable, but it certainly makes the book easier for young readers to get throu
Ms. Yingling
Jul 04, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
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
Sep 24, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
"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
Taylor Dean
Jul 07, 2015 Taylor Dean rated it liked it
Kizzy Ann Stamps is set in the 1960s when integration of schools was a new law. The story is written as a series of letters to her new white teacher. Kizzy's dog Shag is what gets her through this confusing and trying time in her life. She makes a few friend throughout the novel, and Kizzy enters a dog show competition for Border Collies.

I think overall this book was okay. I loved the format, although I would have liked to hear more from Kizzy's teacher throughout the novel. Kizzy used language
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
Aug 01, 2015 Hali rated it really liked it
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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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