Bestselling author of "The Killing Season" and veteran "Los Angeles Times" reporter Miles Corwin spent a school year with twelve high school seniors -- South-Central kids who qualified for a gifted program because of theur exceptional IQs and test scores. Sitting alongside them in classrooms where bullets were known to rip through windows, Corwin chronicled their amazing odyssey as they faced the greatest challenges of their academic lives. "And Still We Rise" is an unforgettable story of transcending obstacles that would dash the hopes of any but the most exceptional spirits.
"This is a book as penetrating as it is brilliantly told. Miles Corwin has recorded, like a camera moving through a series of rooms, the human meaning of the lives he observed. What a stunning accomplishment."--Leon Bing, author of "Do or Die"Corwin gives added meaning to my grandmother's inspiring words to me as I struggled in poverty on our Alabama tenant farm in the 1940s. 'It doesn't take much yeast to make the bread rise, ' she said. Heroic, creative, and productive people don't all come from fine prep schools and successful parents. Corwin reminds us that, given a chance, the spark of genius can be ignited in the most unlikely student from the meanest places in our country."--Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center"Miles Corwin's "And Still We Rise is a book that both lifts the heart and afflicts the soul. It is an account of dreams fulfilled, of children from shattered families in a murderous neighborhood who will themselves into a program for gifted students and ultimately into college and the American mainsteam. It is also an account of dreams endangered--by a society that thinks the SAT is the sole measure of merit, by a ghetto culture that glorifies self-destruction and academic failure, and even by a pair of teachers whose brilliance is undermined by their own bitter feud."--Samuel G. Freedman, author of "Small Victories"Whether following the travails facing the vividly characterized students or those facing the class instructor, Toni Little, Corwin kept his own journalistic focus throughout a project that presented professional and ethical challenges of the most exasperating sort. He details the subsequent defeats and triumphs of will and discipline and keeps the storygritty and gripping, even when explaining history . . . The stakes here are comparable to those in the documentary "Hoop Dreams, and Corwin manages to give academic failure and triumph the same dignified solidity. Reportage of the highest order."--"Kirkus Reviews (*starred*)"Los Angeles Times reporter Corwin offers a viscerally affecting glimpse inside the world of an inner city high school. His profiles of high achievers who shun the temptations of the street are sure to inspire."--"Publishers Weekly." . . The real story here is the students, and Corwin wisely keeps them front and center. His detailed and unabashedly sympathetic descriptions are riveting. Most affecting is Olivia, a street-savvy foster child whose efforts to survive entangle her in the city's penal system. Setbacks seem to follow each of Olivia's advances, and her efforts function like a refrain throughout this haunting book. "And Still We Rise manages to be both engrossing and heartbreaking at the same time."--Jabari Asim, "The Washington Post Magazine"Splendid."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"["And Still We Rise] is the story of overcoming against all odds, of triumph in the face of what for so many would have been disaster . . . If you put no other book on yoru summer reading list, you should definitely share Corwin's journey through the lives of these students."--"Los Angeles Times