“Lyles paints a detailed, thoughtful picture of race relations in the 1970s . . . Highly recommended.” — Small Press Review
A memoir of race and education, this is the story of a girl who grew up and out of the Cleveland projects in the 1960s and ’70s.
While growing up in Cleveland, young Charlise Lyles experienced turbulent events including race riots and a neighborhood murder. Yet she was inspired to appreciate literature at a young age, and she spent her days reading—and also often searching for the estranged father who taught her that love of learning.
Despite starting in the “slow class” at an aging school on Cleveland’s east side, Lyles had a thirst for knowledge and drive for success that would open a door to new opportunities. Granted a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in a wealthy suburb, the vibrant teenager finds herself presented with a bewildering set of new challenges—and a new direction in life.