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Black Boy White School

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  76 reviews
He couldn’t listen to music or talk on the phone without her jumping all over him about what they listened to up in Maine, or how they talked up in Maine, or how he better not go up to Maine and start acting ghetto.


Anthony’s mother didn’t even know where it was until he’d shown it to her on a map, but that still didn’t stop her from acting like she was born there.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
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This weekend I had the honor of reading the first novel of my favorite high school English teacher. Brian Walker was the first person to teach me how to build an argument in a paper. I remember whenever I'd give an opinion about what we read he'd shout WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!! And send us scrambling through our book to find a quotation. Brian always had such moving and insightful things to say about race, things that impacted me even then as a naive privileged white girl and I've continued to thi ...more

I literally just finished reading Brian F. Walker's Black Boy White School and I cannot wait to share it with someone, anyone. Anthony "Ant" Jones is given a scholarship to an elite prep school in Boston. Leaving his East Cleveland neighborhood he struggles with the realization that he may never fit in with either world.

Ant's struggles with fitting in seem so familiar. Readers will relate to the struggle Ant has of growing and become a different person while trying to remain true to himself. Th
Heidi Gonzalez
Racism...that dirty work no one likes to talk about or brushes under the rug. It makes people uncomfortable so we don't talk about it or only talk about it on a superficial level.

This is an easy read about a hard subject. "Ant" comes from a rough neighborhood, he doesn't want to go to Maine but after one of his best friends is shot and killed when they are together he makes the decision to go. What he finds is that fitting in might mean losing his identity. People at school call him Tony no mat
Sarah Clark
Anthony "Ant" Jones is from the rough streets if East Cleveland and gets a scholarship to a fancy private school in Maine. This book explores his ambivalence at accepting this opportunity, the parts of himself he has to sacrifice to succeed there, and the small and very large encounters (or rather subtle and overt encounters) he has with racism every day.

I was ambivalent about how to review this book. As others have noted, there is zero subtext and everything is spelled out for the reader. I als
Luis Cruz
For me this book called Black Boy White School was great it is about a kid named Anthony that’s from a ghetto neighborhood and is given a chance to go Belton Academy. But Anthony doesn’t want to go but his mom forces him to go. After being in the school he’s alright until he realizes that people in that neighborhood don’t like black people and are racist to him and others. This book is great I like everything about it the author Brian F. Walker did a great job and I hope he does more books like ...more
Richie Partington
BLACK BOY WHITE SCHOOL by Brian F. Walker, HarperTeen, January 2012, 256p., ISBN: 978-0-06-191483-6

"Anthony went to the main building and registered. They gave him a lot of things to read plus his room key. John had been right: He was staying in Kaster Hall, on the freshman floor. He left the desk and moved through the crowded lobby, making sure not to bump anyone or even make eye contact. Most of the kids were with their parents and all of them were white. Self-conscious, Anthony walked quickly
Anthony grew up in East Cleveland where there's little to hope for, and there's plenty of violence, drugs, and poverty. When he gets the chance to attend a private school in Maine on scholarship, he takes it -- and he faces the kind of racism and discrimination he never imagined.

The story is the strength here, as the writing leaves much to be desired. The characters are never really well fleshed out, there are intense moments that should have incited some feelings but failed to do so (there's a
There is so much to like about this YA contemporary novel that I picked up on a whim at one of my many local libraries. First, the title: can't get more bold or concise than that! The author has taken a topic about that has been oft-covered in the world of fiction about African-heritage children, put it in a bottle of one boy's personality and experience, cleverly added some adult wisdoms (through carefully-written adult role-models), and shook it. In this story, nothing is simple, little is as ...more
Casey Hudson
Walker Handles a complex and delicate topic with skill and eloquence in this tale for young readers. The protagonist, Anthony "Ant" Jones has it hard enough growing up in the kind of neighborhood where a kid can be harassed just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What makes life more complicated, though, is when Anthony finds himself attending school in the kind of neighborhood where a kid can be harassed just for being in the wrong place with the wrong color skin.

"Ant," or "Tony" a
A solid debut from and author I will delight in following. This was a great quick read. The authenticity the authors' voice lent to the story was very apparent. The switching up of the language used from his home of East Cleveland to learning to understand the 'prep' school language was very well done and gave me a deeper feel for his dilemma of fitting in to neither of his worlds.

Yes there were parts where I felt it could have done with a bit of more careful editing, but overall I thoroughly e
Antonio Morales
Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker is a powerful read. This book will move whoever reads it and even make you think about how you treat people, especially when it comes to race. The main character is Anthony Jones. Anthony grew up in the ghetto in East Cleveland. They were big on smoking weed and drinking. However Anthony was extremely intellegent. This awarded him a scholarship to a big time private school named Belton Academy. Anthony was grateful for the oppurtunity but scared of goin ...more
Black Boy, White School is more than a book about racism. It addresses the way classism and racism get confused and muddled together in America. The main character, Anthony, is a black freshman from the decaying city of East Cleveland who wins a work-study scholarship to a prep school in Maine. There he faces racism from working class town folk, hazing, and ignorant or indifferent classmates who think anyone who challenges the system is just “angry”. The book also addresses internalized hatred a ...more
The book "Black Boy White School" was a very interesting book. I, myself, really enjoyed the book. I thought it was a very exciting story and very entertaining. The main character, Anthony, is a teenage black boy who lives in a ghetto-like area with his mother. He likes hanging with his friends and hes really good in school. He and his friends are pretty suprised that one day Anthony gets a full scholarship to Belton Academy. His life was about to totally change.
With his mother barely getting b
I find it unfortunate that Black Boy, White School by Brian F. Walker has received so little attention online. Black Boy, White School is a young adult novel about Ant, a black boy from East Cleveland who earns a scholarship to a boarding school in Main. Black Boy, White School is a quick read with interesting insight about racism.

Read the rest of my review here
Argh, I really wanted to like this book, and looking at all the other reviews, I think the problem is clear: way too much telling and not enough showing. It's really too bad, because the dialogue was mostly wonderful and I want to quote at least five different conversations here. *sigh*
This story had the potential to be powerful and deeply affecting, a bildungsroman for the ages, but unfortunately the characterization is weak and the story feels rushed and thin, so for me it fell rather flat. I knew that Ant would go through some changes and have trouble feeling like he still fit in at home, but the author tended to tell us what Ant felt rather than showing it, so the central struggle in the book really didn't move me as much as it should have.

Parts of the book were predictabl
English Education
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Edward Sullivan
A solid, realistic story with strong characters that effectively tackles issues of class and race.
Amanda Johnson
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Sad. Killer ending. And also really thought-provoking. Great book club read.
Reviewed at my blog: HERE @ Teacher.Mother.Reader Book Blog

Black Boy, White School is a powerful book that struck many nerves, made me uncomfortable at times, pushed the limits in many ways, and made me think. Author Brian F. Walker paints a story showing truths that sometimes hurt and sometimes help all through the eyes of young black teen, Anthony. Anthony is precariously navigating the street life of East Cleveland, the violence and poverty stricken neighborhood in Northern Ohio. This is o
Anthony Jones has a chance to get out of his tough East Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood but isn’t sure that going to prep school Belton Academy in rural Maine is the right answer. After witnessing the drive-by murder of his good friend Mookie, he decides to give it a try, anticipating that he’ll be the odd man out, and he is. As one of few black students in a mostly white school, in a town experiencing growing pains with an influx of African Somalis, Anthony has a difficult time getting the student ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really *wanted* to like this book. I think the topic is important, and one that isn't broached often enough in young adult literature. And when I read the author's bio, I thought his personal experience would really give a depth to the book. Sadly, for me, the writing wasn't as compelling as the idea itself. I felt that first person would have been more effective than third person in this story. I also thought there was a LOT of "telling" rather than "showing." Perhaps because of this, the cha ...more
Dec 15, 2012 Ariana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
You can also see my review here:

Black Boy/White School by Brian Walker tackles the idea of identity and belonging. Anthony “Ant” Jones, an East Cleveland native, has been forced by his mother to apply to Belton, a private, preparatory high school in Maine. Though his school performance is about average, Ant is accepted, much to his dismay and apprehension. It is not until one of his good friends is gunned down that Ant willingly leaves East Cleveland, seeing Maine
What happens when a boy is taken out of his element, thrust into an alien element, only to be returned to his former element? Each time Anthony Jones changes his environment, his need to belong changes. Some times his needs and wants are met, some times they are not. Black Boy White School is Anthony's journey through the different social scenes of his native East Cleveland, to an exclusive private school in Maine, back to East Cleveland. Brian Walker has written a story of growth and change, ac ...more
I am not sure of the race or background of the author, but even from my perspective as a white person who grew up in the suburbs, this book appeared to have been written by someone who is just imagining what it might be like to be black and move from a high crime urban area to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere. The ending was possible worse than the book itself. Thoroughly disappointed.
BAYA Librarian
Anthony Jones, otherwise known as Ant is just a regular kid from the East Cleveland ghetto. He hangs out with his boys and drinking forties and smoking weed. When he gets a scholarship to a private boarding school in Maine his mother, wishing something better for her son pushes him to go. As Ant struggles to adapt to the mostly white boarding school he realizes that most of his classmates will never understand him for who he is. After a trip home for the holidays Ant begins to realize that havin ...more
Alex Templeton
I hate to say it, but I found this book disappointing. It has such a great and relevant premise: what it is like to be a poor African-American in a community of white, well-to-do people. I think I just felt disappointed that the book flew through Anthony's year at a private prep school. There were some tensions and conflicts that were given attention (I found Anthony's reaction, as a black man, to a faux-auction of his classmates for the prom particularly eye-opening), but I felt like they could ...more
This book tells the story of an African American boy who has grown up in an area where drug crimes and violence are very much present when he moves to a small city in Maine to attend a private school. There, he is just one of a handful of minority students.

As soon as he gets there subtle racist incidents occur. He faces racism from his roommate's father, his teachers, classmates, and random people in town (white and black alike). Prior to living in Maine, he had never been treated like this so i
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