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And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-city High School Students

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  918 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
And Still We Rise : The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City Students by Miles Corwin. William Morrow Co., Inc.,2000
Published April 26th 2000 by William Morrow
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Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
15 years ago but a fascinating read that probably holds true today.
Andrew Pixton
This was a good book and I read it with an open mind, but it bothered me for two reasons. It's about affirmative action and it details systematic poverty. The author is a reporter that wanted to show why race based affirmative action is necessary at a time when it was ending. To do so, he chronicled the lives of some black high school students and their leap into the world of college. I'm not sure that this was the best way for him to pose his argument and it was hard to keep track of the studen ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching, 2017-reads
Miles Corwin, veteran reporter for the Los Angeles Times, spent one year in the classrooms and lives of twelve gifted high school seniors in South Central LA in the mid-90s to document their unique academic and personal challenges.

Even though I don't teach in such a hostile environment as the one profiled in this book, my students face many of the same challenges as the students in the book did: homelessness, poverty, violence, absent parent(s), incarcerated parent(s), foster homes, etc. Often
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The general story itself is worth telling, really, NEEDS to be told. Unfortunately, I didn't think in this particular book it was told very well. I didn't like the writing. I thought the author maybe could have taken a few tips from the English teachers he profiled. I also felt the political overtones in the book really weren't necessary, and that kind of thing tends to put me off. Honestly, the political overtones weren't in-your-face, they were somewha ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A riveting story about gifted inner-city students in LA. If you work in inner-city and/or with GT students, you should really read this one. While not full of happy stories, I did find the realism refreshing and the students were inspiring.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book.
Many books and movies about education are meant to be warm fuzzy feel good stories. And Still We Rise is not one of those stories. Corwin doesn't sugar coat anything. He is realistic. Some of these students don't make it. The teachers are not saviors. I actually really disliked the main teacher. Granted, she's teaching in a harsh environment, but she lets her own issues with the administration and parents bleed out into her classroom at the expense of her teaching. The book covers the course of ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There were points when I was annoyed with the students' teacher but at the end of the day, this is a nonfiction work and the author was sharing exactly what happened. I think Corwin did a great job of explaining affirmative action and how it impacts students like the ones in the book. The students' stories of adversity were both heart breaking and inspiring.
Elizabeth Mcsorley
The book, And Still We Rise by Miles Corwin is the story of twelve honors students, who are enrolled in an honors school of a very large public school. The grew up in South-Central Los Angeles and each faced their own trials and miraculously turned to their school work to get through them.
The first student mentioned was Olivia, who was abused by her mother and thrown into foster care as well as, the main character in the book. Her story is followed by the stories of the other students on her E
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The overall rating that I am giving for And Still We Rise, by Miles Corwin is 4 out of 5 stars.

Miles Corwin, a man interested in the difficulties that kids in the minority face that makes achievement so much harder to reach for them, spends a year with a group of gifted students at Crenshaw High School in southern Los Angeles. He writes about what these kids face that affect whether or not they will be able to escape the fate, that so many other kids from this gang-filled place is full of.

Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating of the book And Still We Rise by Miles Corwin is three and a half stars out of five.

This book discusses the struggles of 12 gifted inner-city students at Crenshaw in South-Central La, California. The book is written by a reporter as he follows the students through their senior year of high-school. It discusses the problems they face such as poor communities and racism.

A great strength of this book is that it gets down to the students level. You follow the lives of 12 gifted students fo
Tale of gifted students at an inner-city school in South-Central LA. The book revolves around an AP Literature class taught by Toni Little and the 11th grade class of Mama Moultrie.

I had to read it for a Professional Development course. It was funny, we had several books to choose from. I was one of the last to choose and so, of course, the books left was the thickest book - over twice the size of the other books. I'm really grateful that "And Still We Rise" is the one I was left with.

I started
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, educational studies major
Recommended to Christian by: Professor Luz Maria Chung
This book is the epitome of the contrasting and ever widening issue concerning education and equality. Corwin explores the divide between a inner-city high school and their journey to get out of the "ghetto" and gang infested neighborhoods that inhabit the surrounding area of the high school.

Corwin also elegantly weaves between the lives of 12 high school students, showcasing their strengths, their goals, and their ambition to get a better start. This book takes place in the last year of affirm
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This non-fiction book opened my eyes to a whole world I am unfamiliar with - inner-city South-Central Las Angeles California with minorities (mainly black).
It was amazing! The author spent a year (1997)observing/interviewing the gifted seniors of Crenshaw High School, in South-Central LA. He highlighted 12 students in particular who had incredible stories with trials and triumps. The story is true and written so well that I was just in awe of the lives they live (and many still do). It made me
Nov 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Journalist follows the class of 1997 at Crenshaw High's Gifted Magnet program. NOT the story of a teacher coming in and saving these students, but told from the perspective of the students. The family situations, work commitments, abuse history, gang and violence experiences, etc. that these kids deal with on a daily basis - all while taking AP high school classes touched my heart and boggled my mind at the same time.

I picked this up because Crenshaw High is close to where I live - it's an easy
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a realistic view of inner-city kids and their strive to actually make something of themselves and get out of the unfortunate circumstances life has given them.

Kudos to Corwin for getting viewpoints from the students, their teachers, their administrators, etc.
And I absolutely loved how nothing about these kids or their teachers was sugar coated. The kids aren't perfect--and even the ones who 'are' have some setbacks. Their 2 biggest teachers are also huge rivals and they aren't doing th
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book spent one school year with an AP English class of seniors in an inner city school in Los Angeles. This was in 1997, the last class to be admitted to college under Affirmative Action. He also spent some time with the AP Juniors because they were the first group to have to face college without Affirmative Action. Regardless of how you feel about Affirmative Action, this book will make you rethink the policy. This author was able to describe the home lives of the students in ...more
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked this book for two reasons. It was so interesting to read about the plight of gifted, highly intelligent kids living in Los Angeles and overcoming the odds. The daily horror they learn to live with is unfathomable to me. I also enjoyed reading about the teachers that teach them. One in particular reminds me so much of a few, very few, other teachers I have encountered. It was interesting to see that personality type in another place. I don't enjoy working with that type of person but know ...more
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book chronicles a year in the lives of some students and a couple teachers in a gifted program at a high school a few blocks away from where I work. Most of these lives are rough and scary, and yet full of hope and potential. If nothing else, this book reminded me to treat others with compassion and kindness. I think it also added a few more details to my understanding of my neighborhood and my neighbors here. And it's a story that asks for a response--my husband and I are thinking on that. ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
The author researched this book by sitting in on classes at a gifted magnet school in south-central LA during the 1996/97 academic year, interviewing teachers, administrators, and twelve students and their families. An unanticipated element was that Proposition 209 (eliminating affirmative action in California) was voted in during the year, so the senior AP English class he followed was the last to be considered for college admittance under affirmative action. Some amazing stories of kids who ma ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
As an urban teacher I found this book spot-on. A writer sits in on an urban California AP English class and reports on the students, teachers and administrators--especially focusing on the students' lives in and out of school. I feel it is must-read for anyone who is interested in education and anyone who wants to vote. Reading about Tommie Smith, one of two black athletes who made the Black Power salute in a 1960s Olympics, and his daughter was an unexpected bonus. I think his story makes clear ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-2011
The 2nd non-fiction book I found that connects to education and it was a good one! The story is from the perspective of a reporter who wanted to document gifted but troubled African-American students who attend Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles in 1996-1997. I found the stories of the students to be woven very well throughout the narrative and I also appreciated that he did not dwell on a teacher "saving" the black children but rather these students saving themselves. Also, since this was from ...more
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breezing through this book. Went to starbucks on my way home yesterday because I couldn't stop reading and didn't want to be sucked into the world of television. along with the stories of 12 high school students at Crenshaw in South Central LA, Corwin provides a history of the area and goes into his opinions on Affirmative Action. One of his main motivators for the book was the fact that California essentially eliminated affirmative action with proposition 209. His book bolsters: "To treat some ...more
Elaine Shandra
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories of these students is captivating. It supports my belief that education can and will set us free. All schools are not created equal and even though a lot is stacked against some students, they can still make it if there is enough belief in themselves, support we need from home, community, and the school.

Some of the use of statistics and the discussions of affirmative action were interesting, but I felt like they weren't always accurate, as if they were used more for the author's motiv
Kelsey Mccluskey
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was assigned in my Education class to learn about classroom management and student struggles. I am usually a little leery about reading novels for class because I love to read and the books we usually are assigned are not that great.
This book was different! from the first page I was hooked and connected to the students. Knowing that these were real people that went through the situations that are described in these pages was very powerful. I loved the writing style, the view of each
Jo Oehrlein
This book is a documentary in words of 12 seniors at a predominantly-black gifted magnet school-in-a-school in inner-city LA. Through pictures of their lives inside and outside school, stories from class, and discussions with their principal, you see the struggles these kids have to live their dreams and their possibilities. The author is a proponent of affirmative action, and the main purpose of the book is to show how these talented students need affirmative action due to the completely uneven ...more
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brett
This book actually made me cry. A couple of times, if I remember correctly. Corwin's initial motive was to make an argument for the importance of Affirmative Action by depicting the lives of kids in Crenshaw High School's Gifted Magnet Program. But this book is so much more than that. I found myself in this book, from unrealized potential to imprisoned thinking, to the everyday struggles that no one at the decision-making level can take into account without experience.

Even in a program supposed
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled, “The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City High School Students.” The author spent a year in one of the few LA high schools in low-income neighborhoods that has an honors program. He follows the students’ progress and details their lives, including all the violence and problems these kids have experienced. Still, they are truly gifted, and overcome these problems to do some amazing work, and many go on to college. Corwin is a journalist who has also written a book on the LA ...more
Unlike other books about inner-city students, this book does not champion the efforts of wide-eyed, naive teachers who come into the inner-city and change the lives of their students. Not to disparage those teachers, but the two teachers profiled in this book are distracted by feuds with administrators and each other, which helps put the trials and triumphs of these students on a greater pedestal. One of the conflicts between the two teachers is over the curriculum; the twelfth-grade teacher wan ...more
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HMSA Summer Reading: Spoilers: And Still We Rise 1 2 Aug 21, 2017 04:34PM  
Teaching Styles: Little vs. Moultrie 1 6 Aug 08, 2011 10:36AM  
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Miles Corwin, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, is the author of three books. The Killing Season (1997) was a national bestseller. And Still We Rise (2000) was awarded the PEN USA West award for nonfiction. Homicide Special (2004) was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara and received his M.A. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
More about Miles Corwin...