Seven Days Of Possibilities by Anemona Hartocollis
One Teacher, 24 Kids, and the Music That Changed Their Lives Forever

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Synopsis

Johanna Grussner arrived in New York City starry-eyed. She was a young Finnish jazz singer looking for the big time. But it was hard to find steady gigs. Propelled by pluck, determination, and a smidgen of desperation, she obtained a job teaching music at P.S. 86, a public school in the Bronx. At first, it was just to pay the bills. But over the course of several years, Johanna formed an intense, transformative connection with her students. She helped turn them from tough, angry, street-smart city kids into a disciplined, technically proficient, soaringly beautiful gospel chorus.

Johanna came to identify so strongly with her students that she eventually took them to her hometown in rural Finland, to meet her family and friends, to perform in a gospel concert, and to show them what an alternate childhood—one of tiny schools, quiet classrooms, fresh air, wholesome meals, and endless music—could be like.

Seven Days of Possibilities offers an inside look at the politics, history, and complex personal relationships that govern one typical New York City public school. But more importantly, it is the story of how one person can make a difference against those odds, rising above corruption, indifference and regimentation with hope, music, and love.
 

About Anemona Hartocollis

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Anemona Hartocollis is a reporter and columnist for the New York Times, where she covered education for five years. She lives with her husband and three children in West Harlem. This is her first book.
 
Published June 1, 2004 by PublicAffairs. 346 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Hartocollis recounts the childhood and education of Johanna Grussner, a Finnish jazz singer who muscles her way through the bureaucracy of New York City's public school system to form a gospel choir at an underprivileged Bronx school.

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