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Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School
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Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"Lyles paints a detailed, thoughtful picture of race relations in the 1970s . . . Highly recommended." -- Small Press Review

A memoir of race and education, this is the story of a girl who grew up and out of the Cleveland projects in the 1960s and '70s.

While growing up in Cleveland, young Charlise Lyles experienced turbulent events including race riots and a neighborhood mu
Paperback, 260 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Gray & Company Publishers (first published December 1994)
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This book is a memoir type book written by a woman who grew up in Clevleand at the beginning of the development of the projects. She struggles early in her academic/social life, but with the help of a very strong mother she finds her way and ends up winning a scholarship to Hawken. She tells the story with a very strong voice, the first section from the point of view of a high school senior trying to find her absent father and make him see how well she has done for herself-wanting his approval, ...more
I am surprised not more reviews. I suppose her story is not in anyway uncommon. but this could have been told in a heavy humdrum tone. Instead the author makes us laugh with her through her pain. The writing is strong and it makes you feel and identify with the three voices of Charlise Lyles.To comment on this book piece is to comment on the expanding required reading genre for coming of age books. If those books can guide us and make beautiful the struggle of teenage life, then this work needs ...more
First hand knowledge creates a bridge for those following. Having traveled the road, jumping creeks and choosing which fork in the road to follow, reading Charlise's book gave voice to to swirling thoughts and helped settle a thumping heart. Thanks for sharing.

Anise Jones Jefferson
Reading this book is like sitting down to Sunday lunch while listening to your grandmas and grandpas and great-aunts and great-uncles talk about life in their neck of the woods. If you're an adult, all the name dropping is fun, and every little piece of trivia has rich layers of meaning behind it. If, however, you are only 5 years old, and have no idea who these people are (nor do you care), it becomes frustrating. Lyles tries to put an urban, ordinary face onto the landscape of the 60s and 70s, ...more
I had the good fortune of meeting Charlise Lyles at a book conference in Columbus, way before I even finished library school. Her voice then was a lyrical as it is now in the pages of her books, and my biggest regret is not completing this book earlier. This book is absolutely a must read, especially for anyone who has a special place in their heart for Cleveland.
This was a very good book about a girl growing up in the King Kennedy Estates Project late 60s early 70s. As a Clevelander, I knew all the streets and suburbs she was talking about. It is a sad commentary on race relations back then, but also a nice tribute to her endurance and perseverance, always trying to overcome the many obstacles in her life.
Karen Miller
I had the pleasure of working with this author while we were both reporters at the Virginian Pilot. As a good a writer as she is a person. Very enjoyable book about growing up in Cleveland.

Made me care, even though I'd never been to Cleveland at the time, and had never really given it a second thought!
Michelle Broome
Very inspirational! It is a must read! A testament that you are only "trapped" if you believe you are. Should be required reading for schools in inner cities across the country!
I read this in two sittings. The Cleveland connection made it more interesting, but aside from that it was beautifully written and it's a powerful story.
great book about an inner city girl who is able to go to preppy Hawkin school in the ouskirts of suburban Cleveland in the '60s
Elizabeth McDonald
First diversity book club book of the year.
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Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School: A Memoir

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