Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts

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Taking things in stride is not easy for Kizzy Ann, but with her border collie, Shag, stalwart at her side, she sets out to live a life as sweet as syrup on cornbread. In 1963, as Kizzy Ann prepares for her first year at an integrated school, she worries about the color of her skin, the scar running from the corner of her right eye to the tip of her smile, and whether anyone at the white school will like her. She writes letters to her new teacher in a clear, insistent voice, stating her troubles and asking questions with startling honesty. The new teacher is supportive, but not everyone feels the same, so there is a lot to write about. Her brother, James, is having a far less positive school experience than she is, and the annoying white neighbor boy won’t leave her alone. But Shag, her border collie, is her refuge. Even so, opportunity clashes with obstacle. Kizzy Ann knows she and Shag could compete well in the dog trials, but will she be able to enter? From Jeri Watts comes an inspiring middle-grade novel about opening your mind to the troubles and scars we all must bear — and facing life with hope and trust.

About Jeri Watts

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Jeri Watts has worked as a public school teacher for twenty-seven years. She has written numerous short stories as well as the picture book Keepers. Kizzy Ann Stamps is her first middle-grade novel. Jeri Watts lives in Virginia, where she is a professor at Lynchburg College.
Published August 14, 2012 by Candlewick. 193 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Under his guidance, they train to enter a dog trial—a perfect choice for a “no-bow” girl and dog like Kizzy Ann and Shag...if Kizzy Ann can enter, despite the discrimination that would block her path.

Jul 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Kizzy Ann Stamps

Publishers Weekly

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Watts, author of the picture book Keepers, displays sure footing in this strong foray into middle-grade fiction, about a 12-year-old black girl from Virginia navigating significant life changes.

Jun 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Kizzy Ann Stamps


Kizzy Ann is both a typical middle-school student and one that stands out.

Aug 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Kizzy Ann Stamps

City Book Review

I thought it was very sad when Kizzy gets her scar, but it is cool that with Shag at her side nothing was too bad.

Nov 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Kizzy Ann Stamps

Historical Novel Society

It’s July 1st, 1963, and 12-year-old Kizzy Ann Stamps is a black girl preparing to enter a newly integrated school in Virginia.

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