Reviews for Kizzy Ann Stamps

AudioFile Reviews 2012 August
Cranky, incredulous Kizzy is perfectly captured by narrator Quincy Bernstine. In 1964 the 12-year-old farm girl launches herself from a one-room black schoolhouse into a newly integrated school with real reference books and real racial animosity. Watts crams Kizzy's letters and journaling with details of segregated life as Kizzy records her school year, which is highlighted by winning a spelling bee that she cannot attend since there are no accommodations for black students. Another plot element is her training of her beloved border collie, Shag, which leads to new friendships, one with a well-accented Scots mentor and another with a surly neighbor. The story is irresistible and educational. Even when Kizzy's insights are a bit too wise, Bernstine keeps the pace and tone just right. D.P.D. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 5-8--During the summer of 1963, 12-year-old Kizzy Ann begins a correspondence with the woman who will be her teacher at the newly integrated school in rural Virginia. The first-person narrative is told in the form of letters and later classroom journal entries directed towards Miss Anderson. Kizzy Ann, who has attended a one-room all black school, writes about her fear of integration and her frustrations as the year progresses. She also shares her tender feelings towards her beloved border collie, Shag. When some of the girls in her class inform her that blacks will never be allowed to enter a dog show, Kizzy is disheartened. However, she connects with a neighbor who helps her to take Shag's training to a whole new level and introduces her to the world of dog trials. Kizzy Ann is a sympathetic, sometimes humorous, hopeful girl who demonstrates courage and determination. Her voice is somewhat inconsistent, sometimes feeling much older than her 12 years. Quincy Tyler Bernstine convincingly voices Kizzy, adeptly capturing both the hope and fear she feels during her first year at the integrated school. She also provides unique voices for the other leading characters. While the telling takes on the feel of an adult reminiscing at times, that may be more a function of the story rather than the narrator. Fans of historical fiction or dogs will enjoy Watts's touching story (Candlewick, 2012).--Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT

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