Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life

Stringer, Lee

| 2004

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There are family-like bonds that can form within the larger human family, when one's own family life has been broken into fragments. Such is the case throughout "Sleepaway School," Lee Stringer's recounting of his years at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls--a school for kids at risk--and the events that led up to them.The clash of being poor and black in an affluent, largely white New York suburb begins to foment pain and rage which erupts, more often than not, when he is at school. One violent episode results in his expulsion from the sixth grade and his subsequent three-year stint at Hawthorne, the "sleepaway school" of the title. What follows is an intensely personal American journey: a universal story of childhood where childhood universals are missing. Excluded at first by his peers, Stringer develops an outsider's eye, enabling him to see some things more deeply from without than from within....

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