“A gritty, wonderfully honest investigation of life in an urban American high school in the 21st Century.” —Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist
Searching for Hope is a gripping account of life in a once-great high school in a rough Indianapolis neighborhood. Granted unfiltered access to Manual High throughout an entire school year, award-winning journalist Matthew Tully tells the complex story of the everyday drama, failures, and triumphs in one of the nation’s many troubled urban public high schools. He walks readers into classrooms, offices, and hallways, painting a vivid picture of the profound academic problems, deep frustrations, and apathy that absorb and sometimes consume students, teachers, and administrators. Yet this intimate view also reveals the hopes, dreams, and untapped talents of some amazing individuals. Providing insights into the challenges confronting those who seek to improve the quality of America’s schools, Tully argues that school leaders and policy makers must rally communities to heartfelt engagement with their schools if the crippling social and economic threats to cities such as Indianapolis are to be averted.
“[W]hile the book offers no unfamiliar insight into the plight of urban schools, it does give a powerful, ultimately genuine voice to the complicated, imperfect individuals whose victories and hopes are often unreported.” —Publishers Weekly
“[T]his keen observation of teens at a troubled high school makes for fascinating reading.” —Library Journal