Rikers High is based on the real-life stories of several students with whom I worked during my six years of teaching incarcerated teens to read and write on Rikers Island, the world’s largest jail. I
believe that it is, by far, my best and most important work, revealing what
really happens to teens who get caught up in our criminal justice system and experience
high school behind bars. The overwhelming number of events in this book I
witnessed first-hand—events that document the learning, hope, hopelessness,
violence, and nearly unbreakable spirit of these teens.
“Rare is the reader who won’t find this narrative sobering.” –Booklist
“Volponi writes with an authenticity that will make readers feel (the protagonist’s) fear.” –Publishers Weekly.
“This tale of education and life on the Island will keep readers locked to the page.” –Kirkus.
“(Volponi) portrays power, hierarchies, and race relations both outside and inside the jail walls with unflinching realism.” –School Library Journal.
I urge you to read the opening chapters of Rikers High at paulvolponibooks.com. --Paul