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Black Boy White School

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  364 Ratings  ·  86 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,114)
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May 16, 2012 Dora rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 10, 2013 Rachee rated it really liked it

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
May 01, 2012 Heidi Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 17, 2012 LibraryLass rated it really liked it
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
Jan 20, 2016 Giselle rated it really liked it
I think the Book was really good and set out a good point of racism. It made you see how the main character had to deal with things and it makes you wonder if other people feel how he did, alone and frustrated with being judged. You were able to see the frustration in a couple of characters and how everybody expected them to come from the same state just because their race. Overall I really enjoyed reading the book I couldn't stop reading so when it came to the end I was so disappointed because ...more
Luis Cruz
Mar 21, 2014 Luis Cruz rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 15, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok
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
Apr 06, 2012 Phoebe rated it liked it
Shelves: yareads
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
Mar 09, 2012 Casey Hudson rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2015 BiblioBickie rated it liked it
The publisher's synopsis points to the central issue: even Ant's mom wants him to change himself to fit into the white-kid school and not act "ghetto." Ant needs to decide where he stands on going along with the school's administrators' and students' calling him "Tony," tolerating the hazing ritual as something that is a given, and the assignment of the work-study students of color to kitchen crew while the white work-study students work in the library or admissions office. It's not an easy road ...more
Antonio Morales
Nov 21, 2014 Antonio Morales rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2014 Quinn rated it really liked it
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
Feb 11, 2012 April rated it liked it
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
Sep 23, 2015 Allison rated it liked it
This is a book about racism and race relations in the United States. If it weren't semi-autobiographical, it would read like an after school special. But it is semi-autobiographical, so instead, it is heartbreaking.

The book packs a lot of punch - deals with the casual racism of privileged white adults and teenagers, racism towards African immigrants, prejudice on the part of African immigrants towards African Americans, and the impossibility of being boxed in on all sides by stereotypes and exp
Jan 29, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
It's hard to say what this book meant to me--especially because I grew up a middle-class white girl, and therefore probably the least qualified person to comment on the life of Ant Jones. But I love the voice it was narrated in. How you could hear in your head who was talking, based on the way the dialogue was written.

But most of all, I loved the message of the book. That there absolutely still is racism, and there's no easy solution to it. It asked questions, without answering them, about how d
Aug 18, 2013 Eden rated it liked it
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*
Feb 22, 2015 Jamie rated it liked it
I read the first 3 chapters and then the last one with the hope that it would be a great 9th grade summer read. This book does a lot: shows and names microaggressions, allows a black kid to lose and then regain his racial identity, points out systemic socio-economic injustice and its impact on opportunities and resources for achievement.

But it's written in the 3rd person, so it feels distant and inaccessible. Powerful moments (Mookie's death) are swept over. And even though the context of Ant's
May 30, 2014 John rated it it was ok
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 26, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
A solid, realistic story with strong characters that effectively tackles issues of class and race.
Apr 10, 2015 Miles:) rated it it was amazing
The book titled Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker, is about a 15-year old kid named Anthony who starts attending Belton Academy in Maine because in his neighborhood in east Cleveland, one of his best friends Mookie dies right before his eyes. During this book Anthony has to deal with racism toward black people and he has to deal with stereotypes such as his name, people call him Tony they assume he is from Brooklyn and think that he plays basketball. I recommend this book to anyone who l ...more
May 26, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2012 Rad rated it liked it
Shelves: read-and-liked, ya
Sad. Killer ending. And also really thought-provoking. Great book club read.
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
Apr 12, 2012 Teacher. rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-reads, giveaway
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
Jul 31, 2012 Pam rated it liked it
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.
Dec 05, 2012 Sharon rated it it was ok
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 really liked it
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
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