The Road Out Kindle é The Road PDF/EPUB ²

The Road Out Kindle é The Road PDF/EPUB ²

The Road Out [EPUB] ✻ The Road Out ✾ Deborah Hicks – Can one teacher truly make a difference in her students' lives when everything is working against them Can a love for literature and learning save the most vulnerable of youth from a life of poverty T Can one teacher truly make a difference in her students' lives when everything is working against them Can a love for literature and learning save the most vulnerable of youth from a life of poverty The Road The Road PDF/EPUB ² Out is a gripping account of one teacher's journey of hope and discovery with her students girls growing up poor in a neighborhood that was once home to white Appalachian workers and is now a ghetto Deborah Hicks set out to give one group of girls something she never had a first rate education and a chance to live their dreams A contemporary tragedy is brought to life as she leads us deep into the worlds of Adriana Blair Mariah Elizabeth Shannon Jessica and Alicia seven girls coming of age in povertyThis is a moving story about girls who have lost their childhoods but who face the street's torments with courage and resiliency I want out says year old Blair a tiny but tough girl who is extremely poor and yet deeply imaginative and precocious Hicks tries to convey to her students a sense of the power of fiction and of sisterhood to get them through the toughest years of adolescence But by the time they're sixteen eight years after the start of the class the girls are experiencing the collision of their youthful dreams with the pitfalls of growing up in chaotic single parent families amid the deteriorating cityscape Yet even as they face disappointments and sometimes despair these girls cling to their desire for a better future The author's own life story from a poorly educated girl in a small mountain town to a Harvard educated writer teacher and social advocate infuses this chronicle with a message of hopeRead an excerpt here The Road Out A Teacher's Odyssey in Poor America by Deborah Hicks by University of California Press.

10 thoughts on “The Road Out

  1. Stephen Stephen says:

    Anyone who has been persuaded that literature is of no conseuence or you can't do anything with a degree in literature or that poetry makes nothing happen Auden's continually misunderstood phrase should take a look at this book Hicks was raised in Appalachian country which is some of the poorest in America and managed to escape the poverty of her youth through her love of literature Her parents were working class but unlike many of the girls featured in this book they were poor yet they stayed together Hicks eventually made it to America's elite institutions of learning where the idea must have forged in her mind to help others deciding to become a teacher for the girl she once was poor and with few prospects for the future Many of the poorest Americans of the Appalachians from 1940 to 1970 migrated to cities like Cincinnati Detroit and Cleveland for jobs in manufacturing As is well known many sectors of those cities are now ghost towns since those jobs have vanished; but what is not well known is that in a city like Cincinnati the rate of childhood poverty is around 50 percent It is for those children that Hicks decided to teachThis book is wonderfully difficult to classify Hicks's love of literature shows in her prose a measured style that has weight lacks flash could care less about pop or mainstream culture who in these impoverished parts can afford such a luxury? shows zero desire to impress which is to say she's interested in the truth of her subject than herself Ideally this book should be put in the hands of educators and those concerned about American education; but Hicks herself calls it a memoir making it one of the most interesting books on life in the classroom I have ever come across as a genre books on teaching are about as dishonest as your average memoir In describing a block on Perry Avenue in Cincinnati for instance her scene setting works much better than the minimalist style we might find in most contemporary American literature all the memorable for being based on the real thing You get a strong sense of Hicks as a teacher by how she describes herself in relation to her students thank goodness theories about pedagogy are completely absent from this book Her students are exclusively girls aged around ten to fourteen They first gathered for a special course Hicks designed for summer school Much of the setting of the classroom including what books to stock the breakfasts of yogurts and muffins Hicks paid out of her own pocket Her relationship with her students is intimate but she has established an important wall where authority must be established You can tell the girls like her and can speak freely in front of her but would go to others if it became necessary for their confessions To get the girls interested in literature which involves getting them to discuss matter as it relates to their own troubled lives it feels like Hicks is less a teacher than a psychologist; personally I feel uncomfortable with the idea teachers need to get their students confessing themselves in front of others as part of a curriculum Hicks herself doesn't appear like someone who believes self expression euals the truth it is not and can often be used as a tool for exploitation by the teacher not to mention the humiliation it might cause those students who are reticent and reserved by nature Throughout the book you can see the difficulty a teacher has choosing books that students should read Hicks's responsiveness to the kinds of books the girls should read as opposed to the ones they'd rather read like horror stories books with vampires in them etc is truly admirable The girls have mothers who are strung out on painkiller prescriptions other narcotics; some of the girls were born in fact with the drugs coursing through their veins There are no men in these homes or we'll see a string of shady lovers come and go Two girls embrace and call themselves sisters the moment they realize they share something in common their mothers are both addicts My favorite moment in the book is when Hicks receives a grant so that her students can put together a literary magazine When she tells the girls this they are elated they jump up and down in their seats But they are girls after all A few weeks later they fear failure and have rebelled against Hicks as their teacher It is the one moment where we see Hicks lose her cool and become angry She leaves the room and tells her girls they need to decide for themselves whether they really want to do this all the while expressing her disappointment in them When Hicks returns the girls apologize and say yes we want to do this magazine And to prove it they have filled cardboard paper with special messages to their teacher which say We love you Likewise there is a girls will be girls moment when Hicks takes them to see the writer of vampire tales Ellen Schreiber give a book reading at a local bookstore They ask many good uestions about reading and writing But then of course one of them has to ask I know this is off track and all but when you wake up in the morning is your hair all frizzy? On a literary note you can feel how much contemporary American literature suffers by having people from this class absent from the payroll There are many who write from these impoverished areas but by the time they have come to writing stories they have been scrubbed clean by writing programs and publishing incentives That Hicks meets the girls halfway with her prose is one of this book's small triumphs Personally I was thrilled to see that the girls' destructive home lives involving fights abuse family feuds love rivalries on these dangerous streets get a reading through Shakespeare proving to me once again of the poet's greatness for all the genius of Proust and Joyce Wallace and Delillo could they ever be taught to girls of this age like Shakespeare can? On another personal note this book has inspired me to take a closer look at American culture I have been largely and purposely absent from it for three to four years as a kind of cleansing of the mind This book the kind of outstanding work teachers like Hicks do has brought me back with the hopes I might see of the country through dedicated people like these For those who won't read this book but would like to hear from this remarkable individual I'd recommend this interview with Hicks the one that inspired me to seek her story outhttpwwwc spanorgvideo?318386 6

  2. Lou Lou says:

    “When I was a young girl growing up in a sleepy Appalachian paper mill town I had a lot of dreams for a girl with limited opportunity Probably the biggest of all my dreams was just to get away from where I was” This is the opening testament of the author who set on a road to do that very same thing for a group of unfortunate girls that reside in conditions darker and truer than fiction this dilemma is a common and increasing reality of our modern age She goes on to write in her introduction “My own life journey from a poorly educated girl in a small mountain town to a Harvard educated writer teacher and social advocate is one message of hope But then so are the stories of seven determined girls who were every bit as gifted and promising as I once was Each different but all steadfast in their desire for a better life than the one they had inherited These daughters and granddaughters of southern Appalachian workers have grit and resolve but they need much if they are to succeed in our new unforgiving economy The stories that follow provide a chronicle of one teacher’s odyssey in poor America and of the pitfalls and possibilities that arose along a road carved out of simple materials literature reading and stories of childhood dreams” I fitting account of the tragedy and triumph that resides in these pages touching and awe inspiring A teacher a heroine euipped with a pencil a sword of victory With hope and belief in oneself on a journey a road on out to a greater good the pen could be mightier against the sworddestroyers of dreams A true story to read that may inspire manyWe need teachers like this to instil a love for the written word I know from first hand experience I left school at 16 born of immigrant parents with an illiterate mother how it sadness me to see how my mother lost out in life without being able to read words and sentences to joy at beautiful prose to be enlightened and aware of many things in our glorious world of written words Every Monday after school during the regular school year and every day during summer school this teacher met with her students to read and talk about books and to write stories of their ownLiterature proved to me a powerful teaching tool than anything that this teacher could useWhat she learned was that they wanted to read of horrors and the supernatural as she explains here “The parts of the story jammed against one another a young girl Stephen King horror This want what I had in mind when I had created my literature class for girls” She goes on to tell what she had learned of this “In their improbable way I was learning that horror stories offered hope Hapless heroines could outwit sinister spirits and crazies Even stories of Rose Madder could find the inner strength to defeat the horrifying monster that Norman had become Spirits such as Blair’s Ghost Rose could speak out in angry voices letting others know how trapped and alone they felt I too was trying to create hope around the only form of transcendence I knew an education rich in literature and reading” And also in this paragraph “The young girls in my reading class were not alone Horror fiction had become rampant in popular culture so much so that parents and teachers had begun to voice concern about images of maiming and psychopathic mayhem flooding the popular book and movie market These movies Final Destination The House of 1000 corpses Slash 13 Ghosts were geared to a ravenous audience of horror fans many of them still in their teens Such trends had led to a flurry of writing about the subject by literary and film critics cultural scholars and even psychoanalystsOne explanation offered for the feeling that my girls experienced when reading scary books is the notion of a psychic safety valve Fans of horror and ghost stories can experience a thrilling read and yet know that in the end they will be safe This can be cathartic like screaming bloody murder on a roller coaster ride then walking off with tears of laughter streaming down your face But this wasn’t the only explanation for the strange appeal of horror Every reader of fiction searches for the threads that can connect her life to the landscape she inherits And these threads of connections need not be real or not something you can see or touch in the everyday world Fiction’s special appeal is that it can take us out of this world and help us connect with what can only be seen through the imagination’s inner eye Part of the beauty of ghost stories was that they were not real Crazy weird and Elizabeth’s favourite word boring this is how my students felt about reading a realistic novelElizabeth wasn’t yet ready for novel about a girl who was “just like her” Could I bring myself to enjoy the kind of book that she loved?” ​ An awe inspiring story on a woman and seven girls battle against the oddsThese girls she taught had come from poor families broken and problem riddledSome girls had parents in jail or dead addicted to drugs alcohol or who were violent abusers They under this mentoring had hope instilled but ultimately their surroundings their home lives still had a tragic and out of their hands part in their fatesThink in a pleasant tone of the great Matilda from that Roald Dahl story and how she was helped by her kind and committed teacher against a bad teacher and bad parenting A great teacher does wonders a soul that one would look back on with pleasant memories and happiness on how they did it rightA change needs to come about to save our youth we all need to act and help in the greater cause and message that lies in this unmissable read for 2013 ‘ “What is it about Stephen King’s books that you really enjoy?” I asked“The parts when scary things happen” said Blair “And I like to read long books” Rose Madder was 420 pages long This story of one precocious young girl her Stephen King book and a hopelessly idealistic teacher helps to shed light on a big dilemma How can education open doors for girls such as Blair the daughter of poor whites and a girl with dreams as big as any girl in America? Her small but important life story is part of a larger American narrative She is the young heir to a labour history a slice of our national life that is disappearing The courageous southern migrants who fled Appalachian poverty had come to Midwest cities in search of manufacturing jobs and a better future for their children Now young Blair had inherited a forgotten landscape tormented by job loss and a growing street drug problem Dropout rates were high too reflecting an intergenerational history the earlier workers of Blair’s neighbourhood could find jobs without high school diploma but also a sense of detachment from school What Blair most needed was a first rate education that would allow her to create a new kind of future leading her away from the streets and their torments and toward he life her Grandma Lilly envisioned for herBut when I set out to become an educational agent for hope and change for Blair I discovered that the single thing that could have made the biggest difference in her life public education was itself part of the problem In spite of the intentions of individuals at Blair’s school who were as hardworking as they were big hearted she was caught up in the same two tiered system of schooling I had lived through Its like John Dawson an Appalachian migrant who moved to inner city Chicago in the 1950s remarked “A poor kid don’t get the same teachin’ that a rich kid gets” ' Review also

  3. Kelly Hager Kelly Hager says:

    Deborah Hicks is a teacher in one of the poorest sections of the country a neighborhood in Cincinnati She formed a loose sort of book club with some of her students and believes that books have the chance to improve lives I am oversimplifying thingsI first heard about this book on one of Stephen King's best of lists at the end of the year and knew that I'd want to read this I also believe that books can save people and love nonfiction books about booksAs a sociology minor I believe wholeheartedly that people can be considered victims of their circumstances I don't think that the girls featured in this book would want pity and I certainly don't pity them because I think they're amazing people especially Blair who also loves Stephen King but all of the girls are these tough yet sweet girls who I wish I could meet But I think that they faced a lot of obstacles that I didn't have to and I think that they would've definitely had an easier time of it if they had had resources growing up Can you overcome those obstacles? Of course But it takes a lot work to go to college if you go to a public school that's very underfunded and live in a neighborhood that has a huge drug problemThis book also made me think of this group that my friend Bekki is involved in Reading For Life They take a group of juvenile offenders and everyone reads the same book and then discusses it So far almost everyone involved has turned their life around and I think that's an amazing inspiring thing This is not a perfect comparison as the girls in this book are much younger when we meet them initially although by the end of the book they're grownupsHighly recommended but be prepared to fall in love with these girls

  4. Kim Kim says:

    The book was interesting but I really wanted to know I wonder how Deborah got started in the school program in Cincinnati I also wonder how the girls for this class were chosen Since I live in Cincinnati I chose this book because it was a true story about my city I also do foster care so the lives of young children from poor areas also interest me There were two things I really didn't like One was how she allowed the children to talk I know that is how they talk on the streets and I do foster care and have two teens of my own so I understand you can't really change it however I felt it should be discouraged Also how the girls talked about sex at such a young age I liked that the author allowed them to share openly without judgement and I am not saying she should have reprimanded them as much as guided them and talk to them about their choice of words and what they did on the streets Maybe the author did this and just didn't get it into the bookI also wish she would have used the public library Again maybe this was just left out but I feel the library is a great place for young people actually anyone to spend time and there is such a wealth of information and entertainment

  5. Gretchen Gretchen says:

    This was a fascinating glimpse into the lives of a group of pre teenage girls and the idealistic young teacher who sees a love of reading and writing among the girls and turns that love into a years long relationship with books writing and discovery The girls all live in an impoverished area of Cincinnati where their childhood is marked by violence drugs and abandonment Like a lot of young girls they like to read talk about their lives and explore friendships with others like themselves Deborah Hicks befriends a small group of girls based on their mutual love of literature The group becomes a safe haven of sorts for the girls who must struggle everyday just to survive The stories are heartbreaking One girl's mother is in and out of the house back and forth to rehab There is no way she can parent her many children Another girl lives with relatives because her biological parents who abused her abandoned her as a toddler Some live less chaotic lives but the main point here is that the environment in which these girls live is not conducive to getting an education andor bettering yourself Many older female role models find themselves pregnant and single Older males seem to be controlling and abusive and therefore not to be trusted Sadly this book points out that the public education system is uite different for the lower class than it is for the middle or upper class Expectations are lowered and many of the students at the girls' school can't even pass basic testing Ms Hicks voices her opinions about the state of public education the No Child Left Behind act and I agree with her assessments On a personal note my own children attended a Title 1 school for a short time and I have personally witnessed the kinds of stresses many of the children who live in poverty face each day It is my personal belief that testing does nothing to enhance the educational lives of such students or the teachers who are trying to instill a love of learning I read on to find out what the girls' lives were like now 8 years after the start of the reading group Very interesting reading and a sad social commentary on life in much of America

  6. SES Sleater SES Sleater says:

    I heard an interview with this author on the radio and was intrigued enough to reuest it from the library It’s a nonfiction book about Hicks’s experience teaching in an economically depressed area in Cincinnati OH She focuses on a special literature program she began for some girls in the neighborhood’s school Although the book appears to need to be edited once right away there were mistakes like using “pore” instead of “pour” it is inspiring and gives a good look into the educational disparities that exist in our country Disparities that are “fixed” by politically weighted programs like “No Child Left Behind” NCLB and “Race to the Top” although “Race to the Top” did not yet exist during this time it is still a ridiculous program and in my opinion deserves to be includedHicks’s reporting on her experiences takes an allegorical turn as she sketches out scenes from her special class which is focused on literature At times I felt these scenes might have been a little unnecessary but they make the book readable in ways that many nonfiction books cannot achieve Her storytelling will also get you attached to the girls in her class despite their behavioral challenges Hicks is also honest She includes the outcomes of the girls at 16 and later again at 20 to remark on what kind of impact her class had on the studentsI recommend everyone read this book but it is particularly geared towards people like myself who often work with or aspire to this population I also loved reading about some of the lesson plans Hicks creates She is very imaginative and put so much work into the program which she comments as being like something for “gifted” students in a traditional education setting Clearly her students thrive in this type of “gifted” program which should encourage everyone with a child in the public education system to ask what our current system is really doing for the next generation Are we hurting them by putting them into categories? Do programs like “Race to the Top” that turn education into a competition work? Are we setting up those kids attending public schools for failure? How can this be changed?

  7. Nicholle Nicholle says:

    I was hoping this book would be one to share with my librarian co workers the power of words and books to transform lives However like one reviewer mentioned the author in her disjointed writing styles and repetitive one liners left me cold I appreciate her willingness to spend her personal time and money to show her girls a world outside of their neighborhood but her insistence on them reading specific books and finding the same joy she found in them was difficult to swallow Let them read Whatever they want And engage them in THOSE words and stories I understand it was still school and she needed to be the teacher I understand that there were books she wanted them to experience But overall she seemed to be disappointed the girls were not herIt also broke my heart that never once did she mention a public library a place for lifelong learning and reading and exploring no matter your socioeconomic status

  8. Debra Debra says:

    Stephen King recommended book He said in Entertainment Weekly's column The Best Books I Read in 2012 A wrenching account of one woman's attempt to show a group of at risk preteen girls that literature can offer them a better life and possibly even an escape route from their poverty stricken and drug racked community The prose is occasionally clunky but the girls are luminous Their stories will touch your heart

  9. Ann Mallory Ann Mallory says:

    Hit a nerve with me being from a family who moved out of Appalachia

  10. Courtney Courtney says:

    I struggled between a 2 and a 3 for this book What pushed it up to a 3 was in the very last chapter the author finally acknowledges the vast difference between her background as an Appalachian student from a poor home and the impact of not only being poor but being poor with no stable home structure in the lives of her students My spouse came from a very poor community growing up with no running water or electricity in the 1980's and 90's But he was loved He had the constant support of his parents He was encouraged He was able to be successful and complete his PhD and in one leap taking the family from having no one that had gone to college to having a 3 time college graduate There is a massive difference in his family's poverty and poverty brought on by oxy's and heroin The girls in the book are left flailing without structure or support The author seems to ignore this difference and keeps trying to foist Shakespeare and other literary works into their hands and is befuddled by their lack of ability to connect with the works It read as being vastly out of touch I have no doubt that she meant well but having been a teacher in a high poverty area I know the struggle to connect with students like these You have to meet them where they are at and respect their challenges and perspective I think she did have a positive impact on the students in some fashion but it really felt like she missed the mark in so many ways The writing was alsoreaching It felt as though she was trying to write a great work of literature but also use the language of the students in the area It was forced in some cases and confusing in others

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *