by Nadia Lopez with Rebecca Paley
publisher Penguin Group Viking
published August 30, 2016
reflections: I used read Humans of New York on Facebook every day. Here's a link to a sample post about what a young boy said about an influential person in his life.
The Bridge to Brilliance is written by the influential person mentioned in the link I just gave you. Ms. Lopez received a grant to open a middle school in inner-city Brooklyn in 2010. The first chapters tell details about her plans for the school. The students would be called scholars, not students. The school color would be purple and black. She had high expectations for the scholars, staff and teachers.
I found the beginning of the book hard to read because Ms. Lopez jumped around chronologically and threw out statistics.
I jumped to Chapter 8 "Praise for Humans" and immediately found the book much more interesting. In this chapter, Ms. Lopez is at her breaking point. Then she receives a text asking her if she has seen this. From there, events happen quickly. After I finished that chapter, I was able to read the earlier portions of the book.
epilogue and more reflections: Not a spoiler, on the last page, Ms. Lopez tells about a young boy who knows whenever he feels so angry in class that he will erupt, he can leave the room to go to her office. For a few years, I had an office in the elementary school. The fourth and fifth grade teachers and I had an agreement: if a certain boy felt he would blow up in class, he had blanket permission to leave their classrooms to come to my office to chill and calm down until he was ready to go back. This young boy is now a successful young adult.