Lisa's Reviews > The Water Is Wide

The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy
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May 11, 09

Read in May, 2009

Pat Conroy's memoir of his year spent teaching on Yamacraw Island off the coast of South Carolina in the late 1960's is fascinating. This young, white teacher travels each day to teach elementary students at an all black school on this impoverished island. Despite an uninspired principal who beats children in order to maintain order and does everything "by the book" and a hostile central administration, Conroy works hard to expand the horizons of his students and to teach them to respect themselves as well as to count and read. His struggles are mind-boggling, yet he persists. This book gave me new understanding about the years immediately following desegregation in south during the late 1960s and the challenges that faced those who tried to break through cultural prejudices. Informative and compelling.
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