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Black Boy White School

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  555 ratings  ·  115 reviews
In a hard-hitting novel about fitting in—or not—Anthony “Ant” Jones gets transported from his East Cleveland hood to an almost all-white prep school and has to figure out where he belongs...before he loses himself entirely. Black Boy White School is a memorable debut that will appeal to fans of Walter Dean Myers and Sherman Alexie.

Anthony has never been outside his rough n
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
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3.79  · 
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 ·  555 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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May 16, 2012 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 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
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review, ya, diverse
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
Heidi Gonzalez
Apr 30, 2012 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 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
Richie Partington
Jan 31, 2012 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
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a quasi-memoir by the author about a 14-year-old boy who grew up in a very bad section of East Cleveland, but manages to win a scholarship to start 9th grade at an elite boarding school in Maine.

Anthony's life before Belton Academy is contrasted with his life after he matriculates. In East Cleveland (EC), he had to contend with drugs, drinking, gangs, guns, and a culture that defined manhood in deleterious ways including “punching on girls.”

In Maine, he is one of only a few blacks, and
Apr 05, 2012 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
Luis Cruz
Jan 30, 2014 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
Feb 29, 2012 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
Casey Hudson
Feb 24, 2012 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
Jan 20, 2016 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
Aug 18, 2013 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*
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, read-and-liked
Sad. Killer ending. And also really thought-provoking. Great book club read.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
A solid, realistic story with strong characters that effectively tackles issues of class and race.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Black Boy White School” is a brilliant book written by Brian F. Walker. In this book you’ll meet Anthony but you’ll learn to call him Ant for short. Ant grew up in the streets of East Cleveland. His childhood was filled with known drug dealers and danger on the streets. He would be lying if he said his friends were saints. Ant never had the ideal role models. Everyone he grew up with only knew they wanted money. Ant had the chance to attend a new high class school in Maine. There were a few iss ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was good little bit of a anti climatic ending. But overall I think it was good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2012 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
Michelle Waters
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Anthony "Ant" Jones is a cool kid on the streets of his dying neighborhood in East Cleveland. He's got his best friends Mookie and Floyd, and he's cool enough to hang with the older kids who like to drink and smoke. He fits right in, except for that part of him who is smart enough to win a scholarship to an elite Maine boarding school, hopes to meet Stephen King, and yearns to be a writer.

I couldn't help but like Ant, who isn't convinced that the boarding school is a good idea, at first. He's a
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had such high hopes before reading this book but I was really let down. As a Black male who grew up feeling out of place, I was looking forward to reading about Ant's journey.

From the first few chapters, I wasn't feeling the way the story was being told. It got better as the book progressed but I feel like there was too much telling and not enough showing. I didn't like how it wasn't really explained why Ant received the scholarship to Belton. Yes, it was said that Black students are recruited
Jaliyah Thomas
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Black Boy White School" is a novel that has to deal with racial politics and social structures of teens today, whether it’s fitting in or not.Many teen readers will relate in some type of way throughout this book no matter what race they are.
Growing up in a rough neighborhood of east Cleveland was all Anthony Jones knew until a tragic accident helps him make his decision about going to a prep school in Maine that he was accepted into.He feels like an outcast at Belton Academy but soon finds a w
Alexander Davidson
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Anthony "Ant" Jones has grown up on the tough streets of East Cleveland, but he is leaving that all behind to attend a prep school in Maine. This mother has high hopes for his future. Anthony is hesitant about leaving his friends for an all-white boarding school. Surrounded by a bunch of new students and teachers who call him Tony, think he plays basketball, and assume he's from New York, Anthony must learn to navigate this new world and attempt to find a balance - if he can - between fitting in ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you finish reading it.

Even though I couldn't always put myself in Anthony's situation, I found that by the end, I was both touched by him and his perspective on the world and actually worried about him. It ends on a positive note, but it made me feel like Hazel and Augustus from John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, wondering what would happen to the characters in this fictional universe after the novel ends. It's not something that I usua
Jan 29, 2016 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
Alex Templeton
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
BAYA Librarian
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Illuminating fish out of water story of African American teen

I didn't leave my family and go away to boarding school. But I related to this story as an African American girl who bussed to an all white high school a few miles away from my lower income, all-black neighborhood. I suspect children who go to their zoned schools I their own neighborhoods where they are in the minority will also relate. Because this is not about going away to school. It's about coming of age as a fish out of water in a
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 10, 2014 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
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