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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
When Colorado native Michael Johnston signed up for a two-year stint with Teach for America, he hoped to make a difference in the lives of the poor children of the Mississippi Delta. What he hadn't planned on was the impact they would have on him; his experience makes for riveting reading.
Johnston, an Ivy Leagueeducated white man, squanders no opportunity to prove he is truly "one of the people," in the poverty-stricken, drug-addled community of Greenville. But has he really entered one of Dante's circles of Hell, or is redemption possible in this place? Greenville High School is a swirling vortex of chaos: canceled classes, racially divided students, gang-related violence, sexual promiscuity, and drugs are all on the program; scholarship and integrity lie on the periphery. But Johnston's story of a stranger in a strange land isn't even close to despairing; the full power of his tale lies in its inspiration -- it is a persuasive call to action by a talented and courageous man of words. (Fall 2002 Selection)